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Royal Catchfly

Silene regia

Royal Catchfly

General Information

Royal Catchfly is a slow -growing, clump-forming, herbaceous perennial.

Royal Catchfly is typically found in openings in upland forests, savannas, scrubby barrens, and open areas along roadsides and railroads. Royal Catchfly prefers dry to medium, well-drained soil and full sun to part shade. It does best in sandy or gravelly soil, as excellent drainage is essential.

Royal Catchfly has showy scarlet flowers and blooms around July.

Plants in the Catchfly family (Silene) have sticky hairs that discourage ants and other insects from eating the plant. Red is an uncommon color among prairie plants because many pollinating insects (e.g., bees) are insensitive to this range of the light spectrum (bees see as black).

Plant Information

Plant Type:

Herbaceous perennial

Sun Preference:

Full Sun * Part Sun

Soil Moisture Preference:

Medium * Medium-Dry

Plant Height:

3 to 4 feet

Plant Width:

1 to 2 feet

Plant Spacing:

1 to 2 feet

Flower Color:


Flower timing:


Culture Information:

Royal Catchfly works best in part shade areas of wildflower gardens, butterfly gardens, native gardens, pollinator gardens, cottage gardens, woodland gardens, or naturalized areas.

When first planted, Royal Catchfly should be watered weekly for first few months, unless at least an inch of rain has been received in the last week to help it get established. After it becomes established, Royal Catchfly does not need watering, as it is drought tolerant.

Royal Catchfly can be cut back to the ground in late fall or over winter. It does not transplant once established due to its taproot.


Dry Soil
Shallow-Rocky Soil

Pests & Disease:

Royal Catchfly has no serious insect problems. Aphids are an occasional pest.

Royal Catchfly has no serious disease problems.

Wildlife Use:

Pollinators: Royal Catchfly attracts larger butterflies such as the Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes asterias). Royal Catchfly flowers favor butterflies as pollinators due to the long narrow tube and flared petals that act as a landing platform.

Birds: Nectar attracts Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds.

Mammals: N/A.

Other: N/A.

Native to:

More Information:
NC State Plant Database:
Missouri Botanical Garden:
TN-KY Plant Atlas

Other Link:

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