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Baptisia australis
Fire Pink Photos © Kim Hosen; Merrimac Farm Wildlife Management Area, Nokesville, VA; May 2014
Text by Lubna Aijaz

Fire Pink
Silene virginica

Pink Family, Caryophyllaceae

Silene virginica is a native wildflower known for its beautiful red flowers. It is sometimes called Catchfly, which refers to the sticky hairs that prevent small insects from crawling up the stems and feeding on nectar.

Fire pink blooms in late spring and early summer. Their bright-red, tubular flowers flare out from the top of slender stalks.

The nectar attracts a range of butterflies and other pollinators and is especially favored by hummingbirds.

Later, the seeds are eaten (and distributed) by many birds including juncos, pine siskins, horned larks, and sparrows.

Look for Fire Pink in deciduous woodlands and rocky wooded slopes. In your garden, plant them in well-drained soil in full sun or part shade. Fire pink is a trouble free but short lived perennial that can reseed.