Wildflower of the Week – Night Flowering Catchfly

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Night-flowering catchfly is a medium height annual similar in appearance to white campion but covered with sticky hairs (hence the common name catchfly), and with more deeply notched petals.

The flowers also differ in colour being white or pink on top and creamy yellow on the back. The petals remain rolled up in the day opening out in the evening and remaining open throughout the night.

Normally found on arable land and is well suited to light chalky soils.

Night-flowering Catchfly typically grows to about 30-60cm in height and flowers from July to September. This is a nice plant to include in a garden flower border and looks best growing with wildflowers such as Oxeye daisies, Knapweeds, Musk Mallow, Meadow Cranesbill and Field Scabious.

Nature

As night falls the flowers of the night-flowering catchfly open and release a strong fragrance which attracts night-flying moths which feed on the copious nectar and pollinate the plant.

Conservation

Found mainly in central and southern England and even here it is decreasing. This plant is on the Rare Plant Register.

2021-05-11T12:29:03+01:00

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