Silene noctiflora - Night-flowering Catchfly
Night-flowering Catchfly is an arable weed which grows best in sandy soils, hence most of its records are coastal. It is easily overlooked, but is genuinely rare in Cornwall. In 1995 a few plants appeared on mine waste at Wheal Uny (SW64V, C.N. French) which had been subjected to a Derelict Land Reclamation scheme. The other plants associated with it, such as Linaria repens
, suggest that the seed could have been derived from soil brought onto the site from the Falmouth/Penryn area. A single plant was seen at Rock (SW97H, 1995, J. Humphreys), but at West Pentire, Newquay (SW76Q) the species grows very well in the arable fields, more than 100 plants being seen in 1997 by H.M. Meredith. Here the National Trust are managing the fields to maintain a rich and diverse arable weed flora.
Click here to see Aphotoflora images by David Fenwick
French, C.N., Murphy, R.J. & Atkinson, M. 1999. Flora of Cornwall. Wheal Seton Press, Camborne.