Bladder Campion – Unidentified Bulbous Wildflower

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time trying to identify these pretty little flowers. I noticed them at the edge of the forest. A kind reader of was able to share that it is a bladder campion, or Silene Vulgaris.

unknown wildflower

Bladder Campion

unknown wildflower closeup

Bladder Campion closeup

*** This site is comprised solely of the opinions of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She works to promote gardening and tourism in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.***

9 comments to Bladder Campion – Unidentified Bulbous Wildflower

  • KO

    Silene Vulgaris.

    Common name bladder campion.
    can be invasive. Classified as a noxious weed here.
    Pretty though.

  • Andrea Berardi

    Yes, it is Silene vulgaris! I am a biologist from UVA and am wondering where the patch of S. vulgaris you found is – we are constantly collecting from populations all over the world and I am interested in sampling some seeds. Any info you could provide would be great!

    • Hi, Andrea,

      Wonderful! I’m not too far from Charlottesville. Mount Jackson is about 45 minutes north of Harrisonburg. There’s a small patch at the edge of our yard (this one), and another patch at the mailboxes out on the road, though that may have been cut.

      If you give me advice on how to collect the seed, I’m happy to do so; otherwise, you’re welcome to take a drive some weekend and gather it. I can also give you more details on the area and soil, if you’d like.


  • Andrea Berardi

    Also – it is a very poor invader so I wouldn’t worry too much about significant spread!

  • Andrea Berardi

    Hi Stacey – here is my advisor’s website that will help with instructions.
    If you get around to it, we would love to have a seed sample!
    Basically, the flowers begin to develop a green fruit almost immediately after pollination. After about a month, the green fruits will turn a light brown and will open at the top. We stick that whole structure in a coin envelope, regular envelope, or plastic baggie.
    Thanks for your help!

  • Ronald Kreml

    I was in the Catskills this time last year and did lots of photos of this flower and wondered if someone would like them for educational purposes. I really try to take good close up photos . I searching for identification there are so many that are too hard to see. I have found that the leaves of the flowers are sometimes more important that the flower its self?
    Thanks Ron

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