Information on Bladder Campion

Common Name: Bladder Campion
Scientific Name: Silene vulgaris
Irish Name: CoireŠn na gcuach
Family Group: Caryophyllaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Bladder Campion could sometimes be confused with:

Campion, Sea, Campion, White,

This is a beautiful perennial plant which grows all around Ireland, usually on chalky, well-drained soil and in coastal areas. White, drooping flowers (16-18 mm) are borne on erect grey-green downy stems from June to August. These flowers have five petals which are each deeply divided into two lobes and a pink inflated calyx which is marked with an attractive network of darker pink veins. It is this balloon-like feature which gives the plant its common name – Bladder Campion. Certain similarities exist between this species and its cousins, Sea Campion and White Campion but these points might help to help identify one from the other: Bladder Campion’s flowers are smaller than those of Sea Campion and Bladder Campion’s flowers have three styles whereas White Campion’s have five. The oval, glaucous leaves are in opposite pairs. A lovely faint scent of cloves is detectable at night-time and attracts night-flying insects. Growing to 80 cm high, this is a native plant and it belongs to the Caryophyllaceae family. 

I first recorded and photographed this plant in Ballyvaughan, County Clare in 2011.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Campion, Bladder
Campion, Bladder

The young leaves of this plant are often eaten in salads in Spain and Crete with older leaves being chopped up and used for flavouring in omelettes and in rice or potato dishes.