Nodding Onion Gardens

Native Plant Nursery

Where Wildflowers Grow

Columbia Station, Ohio, USA


Silene stellata - Starry Campion - Widow's Frill

Ohio Native Plant - Natural Range

Silene stellata

To view the natural range of Purple Giant Hyssop visit the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service website.
bumble bee visiting white flower
Now we know for certain who visits Silene stellata. Notice the oval seed pod forming

Wildlife Significance -Silene Stellata

Pollinated - Moths and Bumblebees. Hadena ectypa, a nocturnal moth tends to be the main pollinator

Nectar - For Butterflies and moths and possibly hummingbirds. Hummingbirds flutter about our nursery all summer long, however we have not  observed them visiting Silene stellata. Of course that doesn't mean they didn't.

Deer - Starry Campion contains saponins, a  chemical found in the non native plant
Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) which can be used to make soap. One would expect deer to avoid Starry Campion as both plants are in the Caryophyllaceae family. Illinois Wildflower site reports differently.

For detailed information
White delicate flowers of Silene stellata
The delicate little flowers remind me of angle wings

Propagation Notes -


Stratifying Seeds

Seeds placed in Cold Moist Storage   


Supplies Needed For Seed Stratification -

1. Zip lock plastic bag

2. Few table spoons of Vermiculite

3. Dampened vermiculite - not soggy

4. Store in refrigerator for 60 days

close up view white flower with frilly edges
Look for frilly petals when identifying Silene stellata

Cultivation Information - Starry Campion

Family - Caryophyllaceae

Height - 1 to 3 ft
Flower Color - Five white petals with frilly edges
Blooms - July - October

Soil - Normal to dry - with good drainage
Sun - Sun/Part Sun - We noticed, leaves appeared stronger and healthier in filtered shade

Hardy Zone - 5 to 8

Support - As Starry Campion matures it tends to topple over, staking or raising with other native plants requiring similar growing conditions will aid in support and protection. We have a patch growing on the border of a Pale-leaved Sunflower (Helianthus strumosus) garden.

Affinity for Oak trees - History indicates that Starry Campion grew in Oak Opening living harmoniously with a diverse group of native perennials. Michigan State's Extension Website does a fabulous job inventorying: trees, shrubs, grasses, ferns and native perennials that Starry Campion would consider suitable companions.

2021 Goals -Plant several Starry Campions near the drip line of our young oak tree.
Whorled leaves of Silene stella
Whorled leaves of Silene stella are a key identifier
silene latifolia
Don't be fooled like I was! Silene latifolia - Bladder Campion is not a native Ohio species

Seed Provenance -Silene stellata

Nodding Onion Gardens 2019 - present. Native Bee-Ginnings, PA - 2020. Prairie Moon Nursery 2018