Sep. 2, 2017

sticky catchfly, Silene viscaria

I wonder if sticky isn't the reason plants in the genus are catchflies. The plant is indeed sticky, as are a few of its immediate relatives, though not all. You by now have noticed the poor focus here. In the wild, when I need to hold on to things I don't have enough hands for, I use split sticks. Just grab the nearest stick of the right length, split one end, and jab the other into the ground. This works to hold the flower still, hold supplemental light, or even for a monopod for the camera. This was taken on the day I realized that technique doesn't work in gardens. The nearest stick might get you kicked out if you break it off, and most gardens don't have dead wood laying around. All that to explain why I was having trouble holding the extra light, and keeping the flower still. Sticky catchfly is also known as clammy campion. Campion may be more appealing than catchfly, but clammy? This species has been reported from CT, IA, IL, IN, KY, KS, LA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, VA, WI, WV, and ON. Beal Gardens, MSU, 5/26/17.