U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What plant is this? HELP!

I have this misterious plant in my perennial garden. First year, after we moved here from Midwest, I took all the seed packages I had and spread the seeds around. I think everyone has such packages received from relatives, friends, from catalogues, garden shows, etc. I had a bunch of them, some were already expired. I said my usual: If you want to live, you'll survive! Sure enough, next spring I got several survivors. This one, on the picture, looks like an annual, selfseeds, and goes strong already for 5 years without my help.

There are thousands of them and they create beautiful bright pink wave in the corner of the garden.

I am sure it is some ordinary plant and you can help me to get its name. I took it once to a nursery, but a person whom I asked couldn't help me.
Thanks for your time!


  1. I know one thing, it sure is a pretty flower.
    Is it phlox?

    Good luck in figuring out the mystery!


  2. It does look like phlox. I don't think it's Dame's Rocket, but it may be another possibility?


  3. I agree with Cameron, looks like Dames Rocket.

  4. Thanks! I just googled Dame's Rocket. Looks very similar, indeed! But - Dame's Rocket has 4 petals and tothed leaves. My misterious plant has 5 petals, as phlox, and its leaves are not toothed. Let me check different types of phlox. Petals are more narrow, although...

  5. Tatyana, I love a puzzle! I thought not Dame's Rocket (because of the four petals and the leaves), so I did a little investigating online and I'm pretty sure this is Silene armeria. The Wikipedia entry has an old botanical illustration that shows the leaves and the flower structure (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silene_armeria). Does this look likely? Fun!

  6. Well, J, you solved this puzzle! It is Silene armeria, or Sweet-William Catchfly. I checked several webpages, there is no doubt. It was fun, wasn't it?
    I thank everyone for trying to help! Karrita, Cameron, Tina - thank you very much!

  7. Yay! It's a pretty flower, and I love the bit about the sticky stem (catch-fly).


  8. That was fun! We all tried our hand at detective work in the garden.

  9. Thank you all! I feel good. Now, I will have an answer for all the people who ask me about those pink waves in my garden.


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