Etymology: Silene: probably from Greek sialon, "saliva," referring to gummy exudation on stems, and/or named for Silenus, intoxicated foster-father of Bacchus (god of wine) who was covered with foam, much like the glandular secretions of many species of this genus.
Plants: erect, biennial/perennial, 12"-40" tall forb usually hairy with glands toward the top
Leaves: up to 10 pairs along the stem; lower stalked, upper stalkless
Flowers: white, 5-parted, 1"-1 1/3" wide, fragrant, stalked, 5 styles, sepals tubular with purple ridges and inflating with age, petals deeply 2-lobed, opening in the evening; inflorescence with many branches; blooms June-Oct.
Fruits: seeds gray
Habitat: disturbed sites
WIS DNR-Bureau of Endangered Resources: Detailed information on Wisconsin invasive species including decription, habitats, control methods USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos Dan Tenaglia's The Missouri Flora: Fabulous photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leave arrangement key. Southwest School of Botanical Medicine: Britton & Brown Illustrated Flora - 2nd Edition (1913) "An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada"