Ontario Weeds: Bladder campion

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Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds, Order this publication

Table of Contents

  1. Name
  2. Other Names
  3. Family
  4. General Description
  5. Stems and Roots
  6. Flowers and Fruit
  7. Habitat
  8. Related Links

Name: Bladder campion, Silene vulgaris (Moench) Garcke,

Other Names: Silène enflé, Cow bell, Rattleweed, Pétards, silène gonflé, Silene cucubalus Wibel, Silene latifolia (Mill).

Family: Pink Family (Caryophyllacae)

General Description: Perennial, reproducing by seed, by rooting of short underground branches which slant outwards from the crown, and from pieces of crown cut off by implements. It is easily distinguished by its smooth, hairless, waxy texture throughout, and the smooth, papery, bladder-like calyx enclosing the small seedpod.

Photos and Pictures

Bladder Campion

Bladder Campion

Bladder campion. A. Plant. B. Flower.

Bladder campion. A. Plant. B. Flower.

Stems & Roots: Root system a coarse, whitish taproot with numerous, deeply penetrating and widely spreading wiry branches, very persistent (tolerant of cultivation); stems 30 - 60 cm (1 - 2 ft) high, erect or spreading, smooth, light green to whitish with a waxy bloom (fine powdery coating), usually swollen at the nodes; leaves opposite (2 per node), narrowly oval, tapered, deep green or whitish with a waxy bloom, the margins without teeth but occasionally wavy or curled and appearing toothed.

Flowers & Fruit: Flowers in branching clusters; sepals united and forming a bladder-like calyx, light green or pinkish with darker green or purplish veins and 5 very short teeth at the end; petals 5, deeply lobed, white to pinkish, about 1.5 cm (¾ in.) across when open, soon curling up and shriveling after pollination; seedpods nearly spherical, about 6 mm (¼ in.) long, enclosed by the loose, papery, bladder-like calyx; seeds grayish, kidney-shaped, 1.5 mm (1/16 in.) across, rough with tiny warty bumps. Flowers from mid-June to September.

Habitat: Bladder campion occurs throughout Ontario in medium to coarse soils in well-drained locations. It is common in pastures, waste places, roadsides, open woods, gardens, lawns and hedges, but is rather uncommon in regularly cultivated fields.

Related Links

... on general Weed topics
... on weed identification, order OMAFRA Publication 505: Ontario Weeds
... on weed control, order OMAFRA Publication 75: Guide To Weed Control

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