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Sand Catchfly

Silene conica

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Caryophyllaceae (Pink)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
40 centimetres tall
Cliffs, fields, gardens, rocky places, sand dunes, wasteland.

Pink, 5 petals
5 variably pink notched petals.
The fruit is a capsule hidden by the inflated bladder-like structure. Up to 1cm in size.
A stickily hairy, annual flower with narrow, lanceolate leaves.
Other Names:
Conical Catchfly, Narrow-leaved Catchfly, Striated Catchfly, Striped Corn Catchfly.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Silene conica, also known as conical catchfly or narrow-leaved catchfly, is a species of flowering plant in the carnation family. It is native to Europe and Asia, and has been introduced to other parts of the world as a weed. The plant is known for its small, pink or white flowers and hairy leaves. It grows well in a variety of habitats, including fields, gardens, and waste areas. Silene conica is a herbaceous plant that can grow up to 1 meter in height. It is commonly found in disturbed areas and is considered an invasive weed in some areas. The plant is toxic to livestock, and can cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested.


Sand Catchfly, also known as Silene conica, is a species of flowering plant in the Caryophyllaceae family. It is native to North America and typically found growing in sandy soils near beaches, dunes, and other coastal areas. This plant is an annual and grows to be approximately 15-40 cm tall.

One of the most distinctive features of Sand Catchfly is its bright pink, five-petaled flowers that bloom from late spring to early summer. These flowers are a popular source of food for many species of insects, including bees, butterflies, and moths. In addition to its beauty, Sand Catchfly also has a number of ecological benefits, such as helping to stabilize sand dunes and providing habitat for various wildlife species.

Despite its importance, Sand Catchfly is considered to be a threatened species in some areas due to habitat destruction and human activities such as beach development. In order to protect this plant and its ecosystem, it is important to minimize human disturbance and protect its natural habitats.

In addition to its ecological benefits, Sand Catchfly has also been used for a variety of medicinal purposes by Native American tribes. The plant's stems and leaves were traditionally used to treat wounds and skin infections, while its roots were used to treat digestive and respiratory issues.

Sand Catchfly is a unique and valuable species that deserves our attention and protection. Whether you are an avid gardener, a nature enthusiast, or simply appreciate its beauty, Sand Catchfly is a fascinating and important part of our natural world. So next time you are near the coast, take a moment to appreciate this remarkable plant and all that it offers.

Sand Catchfly is also a great choice for landscaping and gardening, especially for coastal or sandy areas. It is a hardy plant that requires little maintenance and is tolerant of salt spray, making it ideal for coastal gardens. In addition, it is drought tolerant and can withstand the heat of the summer sun.

When planting Sand Catchfly, it is important to choose a location that provides full sun and well-drained soil. If planting in a garden, it is best to space the plants about 15-20 cm apart to allow for proper growth and to minimize competition for resources.

In terms of care, Sand Catchfly is relatively low-maintenance. Once established, it requires little watering and can thrive on its own. However, it is important to remove any dead or yellowing leaves to maintain the plant's appearance and prevent the spread of disease.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in Sand Catchfly for its ornamental and ecological value. Many nurseries now offer the plant for sale, and it can also be found in specialty coastal plant nurseries. If you are interested in growing Sand Catchfly in your garden, it is a great way to help support the conservation of this valuable species and its habitats.

In conclusion, Sand Catchfly is a beautiful and valuable plant that deserves our attention and protection. Whether you are interested in its ecological benefits, its medicinal properties, or simply its beauty, Sand Catchfly is a fascinating and important part of our natural world.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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