This delightful bright pink flower was named after the moon goddess, Silene and the island of Crete, where first identified. It is found in moist, shady places often amongst the litter of the woodland floor.
Flowers occur in ones or twos supported on a smooth, bright green, grass-like stalk with pairs of narrow leaves ay intervals, but arising from a rosette of broader oval leaves. The flowers are typical of the silene genus; with 5 sepals fused to form a flask shaped vessel, 5 bi-lobed petals each with two sharp tooth-like protuberances which form a crown in the centre of the flower.
It is a biennial or perennial plant, with dark pink to red flowers, each 1.8-2.5 cm across. There are five petals which are deeply notched at the end, narrowed at the base and all go into an urn-shaped calyx. As indicated by the specific name, male and female flowers are borne on separate plants (dioecious), the male with 10 stamens and a 10-veined calyx, the female with 5 styles and a 20-veined calyx.
The fruit, produced from July onwards, is an ovoid capsule containing numerous seeds, opening at the apex by 10 teeth which curve back. The flowers are unscented. The flowering period is from May to October and the flowers are frequently visited by flies, like Rhingia campestris.
The plant grows to 30–90 cm, with branching stems. The deep green leaves are in opposite and decussate pairs, simple acute ovate, 3–8 cm long with an untoothed margin; both the leaves and stems of the plant are hairy and slightly sticky. The upper leaves are stalkless.
This plant might be poisonous
How to get rid of: