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Weed Seed: Silene noctiflora (Night-flowering catchfly)



Common Name

Night-flowering catchfly


Secondary Noxious, Class 3 in the Canadian Weed Seeds Order, 2016 under the Seeds Act.


Canadian: Occurs in AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK and YT (Brouillet et al. 2016Footnote 1).

Worldwide: Native to parts of Europe and temperate Asia (USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 2). Naturalized in other parts of Europe, New Zealand, and North America (USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 2). In United States, it is widespread but more common in northern states (USDA-NRCS 2016Footnote 3).

Duration of Life Cycle


Seed or Fruit Type


Identification Features



Surface Texture


Other Features

Habitat and Crop Association

Cultivated fields (especially leguminous crops), pastures, gardens, hayfields, old fields, railways roadsides and disturbed areas (McNeill 1980Footnote 4, Frankton and Mulligan 1993Footnote 5, Darbyshire 2003Footnote 6).

General Information

Night-flowering catchfly plants can produce up to 2500 seeds per plant. Not fully matured seed can germinate similarly to mature seed shed from the capsule (McNeill 1980Footnote 4). The small seed size makes it difficult to clean out of clovers such as Alsike clover. Contaminated seed is the main method of spread for this species (McNeill 1980Footnote 4).

Similar Species

White cockle (Silene latifolia subsp. alba)

Bladder campion (Silene vulgaris)


Night-flowering catchfly (Silene noctiflora) seeds
Night-flowering catchfly (Silene noctiflora) seed
Night-flowering catchfly (Silene noctiflora) seed, side view
Night-flowering catchfly (Silene noctiflora) seed, hilum view
Night-flowering catchfly (Silene noctiflora) seed, hilum (close-up view)

Similar species

Similar species: White cockle (Silene latifolia) seeds
Similar species: White cockle (Silene latifolia) seed, hilum view
Similar species: Bladder campion (Silene vulgaris) seeds
Similar species: Bladder campion (Silene vulgaris) seed, hilum view
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