Silene dioica 'Clifford Moor' or Catchfly Clifford Moor is a dioecious biennial or perennial herb with its origins in Europe. Silene dioica reaches a height of 3 feet (90 cm), but Clifford Moor is more compact reaching only 12 inches (30 cm) tall. Basal leaves will reach up to 8 inches (20 cm) long while stem leaves reach 4 inches (10 cm) long. Stems are pilose and leaves are hairy, green with creamy variegations. I grow these with Hostas under the shade of banana plants. They do not have the slug problem that Hostas have, due to the hairy leaves. The magenta pink flowers attract butterflies. Plants are hardy in USDA zone 5-9, in more northern climates they can be grown in full sun.
Blooming: Here in Zone 7 the plants bloom in late spring to early summer. The magenta pink flower will open only in the daytime and close at night. While they are in bloom they are very showy with green and creamy foliage.
Culture: Silene dioica 'Clifford Moor' needs partial shade to full shade here in zone 7. They do well in a rich moist soil mix. In my garden, we plant these with Hostas and other shade loving plants. Soil was amended with peat moss and sand to give the red clay soil we have some organics and to improve the drainage. When working the soil here in central Oklahoma drainage can be a challenge. Spent flower heads need to be trimmed off to keep the plant form to its nice mounding habit. In late fall, plants are cut back to the ground and mulched heavily to insure that they come back.
Propagation: Silene dioica 'Clifford Moor' are propagated by cuttings and by division of large clumps.
Silene dioica 'Clifford Moor' was featured as Plant of the Week May 13-26, 2011.
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Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.