Jan. 12, 2018

white campion, Lychnis latifolia

White campion is a little wildflower identification puzzle for us. The closely related nightflowering catchfly looks very much the same. I used to think I could tell them apart by the sticky fuzziness of nightflowering. Embarrassingly recently, I realized I was getting it wrong as much as right. The only reliable way is to open up the flower and determine if stamens and pistils are both there. If so, it's white. If not, nightflowering. As far as nightflowering goes, they both open at night and fade as the day goes by. This Eurasian native is now one of the more wide spread temperate zone species in the world. Here it is in every state except FL, HI, LA, MS, OK, and TX, in all provinces except NT and NU, and it is in GL and on SPM. Lenawee Co MI, 5/23/12.