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Fire Pink
Silene virginica

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Fire PinkWell-named, the Fire Pinks are in full bloom by mid-spring, blazing out like wildfire sparks along leaf-covered dry slopes. They're fairly common, hard to miss, and will continue blooming well into summer, though they stand out less once the full tree canopy has closed in. They prefer drier, sunnier locations - east-facing slopes and roadsides are a good bet. The plants are generally about a foot high at blooming time, with one to several main stalks, each of which can have one to several crimson flowers. The leaves are dark green, long-oval, and smooth, mostly basal with some opposite pairs where the stems branch. The flowers consists of 5 petals, each of which has a deep notch at the end. Fire Pink is a true member of the Pink family, or Caryophyllaceae. Other members include Chickweed, Soapwort, and Campion.
A note on the nomenclature (naming conventions) on this site: Scientific names and classifications are constantly being argued and changed, and it drives me nuts. Although I use many different sources for knowledge, for naming consistency  I  use the  "Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas" by Radford, Ahles and Bell, 1968 edition. This book is a well-established authority for the plants of our region and I've been using it for years. If for some reason I must use a different source for a particular plant, I will make note of it within the descriptive text. Don't like it? Tough!

Fiona Dudley
986 Reems Creek Road
Weaverville NC 28787


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