Red Campion, Boys and Girls.

Red Campion, to a lot of people it is a persistent weed. All of my flowers are weeds, I don’t really do gardens.

Silene dioica is a beautiful wildflower, it is probably at it’s best right now but you can find it in flower pretty much all year round. There isn’t very much else in flower in January.

Picture taken on January 9th.

Red Campion  FlowerIn fact I could find this one at any time throughout the winter, that alone is good enough reason to love it but it also has mysteries. and plants with mysteries always catch my eye.

Silene dioica, the first part of the name is derived from Silenus a figure from Greek mythology whom I find variously described as the god of woodland or the god of drunkenness. I have never seen this flower drunk. The second part dioica is derived from the term dioecious, which this plant is. It means that the plant has male and female forms. That is the bit that interests me.

Dioecious- Pistillate and staminate flowers on different plants.

Boys first. (Because they are the less interesting)

Red Campion Staminate

This is the staminate form of the flower, the male. It has stamens and produces pollen.

Red Campion StaminateRed Campion StaminateNext we have the female flowers.

Red Campion FemaleThese flowers don’t have stamens, they have five stigmas that collect pollen and a single ovary.

Red Campion Female Red Campion FemaleThose stigmas go right down to the base of the flower and now the sepals wrap around them in a structure called a calyx, this is where the fruit will develop.

Red Campion calyxAs the fruit develops the petals fall off and the seed pod swells.

Last night Fizz and I also went out to get pictures of the calyx of Silene dioica.

Red Campion calyx Red Campion calyx Red Campion calyx Red Campion calyxSo that is all that I have got to say about Red Campion. If you are out and about today you will almost certainly see it in flower. Do enjoy it.

Red Campion

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