The Scarlet Catchfly is one of my favorite native flowers. Their bright red flowers bring a smile to my face as soon as they start blooming every year. They grow in eastern North America as far north as Canada and all the way down to Florida. In the Northwest Arkansas area the Scarlet Catchfly generally begins blooming as soon as April and can last until almost July.
Growing up to 2 feet tall the sticky stalk of the Catchfly topped with it’s bright red petals with heads measuring from 1”-1 ½ “ stand out in stark contrast against the rocky wooded backdrop of its chosen habitat. The colorful notched petals are very attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies making a wonderful addition to any yard or garden. The slightly hairy and sticky stalk that prey on smaller insects give the Silene Virginica its common name of catchfly. It loves rocky well drained soil and can often be found on rocky outcroppings and shaded hillsides.
Silene Virginica is very hardy and easy to grow. Its ability to attract its own pollinators and drop its own seeds keep it reproducing every year. Unfortunately in some places like Florida and Wisconsin it is becoming endangered. Michigan has the Silene Virginica on its threatened list. Lucky for us in NWA this beautiful wildflower flower is not on any endangered list. Lets help keep it that way for butterflies and hummingbirds in the years to come.