Information on Red Campion

Common Name: Red Campion
Scientific Name: Silene dioica
Irish Name: Coirean coilleach
Family Group: Caryophyllaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Red Campion is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


This is a most attractive wildflower of shady hedgerows, grassy banks and woods.  Perennial or biennial, it's a hairy plant which grows to 1m. It bears pretty pink-red flowers (2-3cm across) which have 5 cleft petals and which are borne in loose cymes from May to September.  Unlike White Campion, this plant produces no fragrance.  The leaves are pointed, oval and hairy, in opposite pairs with the lower ones stalked.  This is a native plant which belongs to the family Caryophyllaceae.   

I first recorded this plant growing at Derrynane, Co Kerry in 1977 and I returned to the same spot (in the wettest week of June 2008) to photograph it.   

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

Campion, Red
Campion, Red

The genus Silene was named after Silenus, who was the merry god of the woodlands in Greek mythology. 

This plant is dioecious which is to say that it bears its male and female flowers on separate plants, the male flowers being smaller than those on the female plant.