Red Campion

©Chris Gomersall/2020VISION

Red campion

Scientific name: Silene dioica
Just as the bluebells finish flowering in our woodlands, the rose-red blooms of red campion start to brighten up the woodland floor. Look for this pretty plant in hedges and roadsides, too.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 1m

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

May to September

About

The bright rose-red flowers of red campion brighten up roadsides, woodlands and hedges throughout the summer. Just as the bluebells finish flowering in our woodlands, red campion starts to come into bloom. If they grow side-by-side for a few weeks, they can turn a woodland floor into an amazing sea of pink and blue.
Red campion is a perennial plant, which means it can live for a number of years, growing and blooming in spring and summer, and dying back in autumn.

How to identify

Red campion has rose-red flowers with five petals, each deeply notched and almost divided into two; its leaves and stems are hairy. In places where it grows alongside white campion, the two may hybridise to produce pinky or white blooms.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

Also known as 'Adder's Flower', red campion is a good source of food for moths, bees and butterflies.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. A mix of coppicing, scrub-cutting, ride maintenance and non-intervention all help woodland wildlife to thrive. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from traditional forest crafts to surveying for woodland plants.