Gardening Magazine

Fire Pinks – Silene Virginica

By Pattyhankins @PattyHankins
Fire Pink © 2014 Patty Hankins

Fire Pink © 2014 Patty Hankins

Every spring I look for Fire Pinks in the wood. The bright red flowers add an amazing splash of color to the spring landscape.

Fire Pink © 2014 Patty Hankins

Fire Pink © 2014 Patty Hankins

Fire Pink © 2014 Patty Hankins

Fire Pink © 2014 Patty Hankins

 

Native to much of the Eastern U.S except for northern New England, Fire Pinks (silene virginica) are members of the Caryophyllaceae or Pinks family. Like other members of the Pinks family – they have 10 petals. When you first look at them, you may think there are only five petals, but when you look closely, you can see that what appears to be a single petal is acutualy two petals close together.

Fire Pink © 2014 Patty Hankins

Fire Pink © 2014 Patty Hankins

Fire Pink © 2014 Patty Hankins

Fire Pink © 2014 Patty Hankins

 

Fire Pinks grow to about 1-2 feet tall. They prefer to grow in poor acidic soil in part sun. They need at least dappled sunlight and aren’t able to survive in deep shade. They tend to bloom in the spring, but can continuing blooming through the summer.

Fire Pink © 2014 Patty Hankins

Fire Pink © 2014 Patty Hankins

Fire Pink © 2014 Patty Hankins

Fire Pink © 2014 Patty Hankins

 

A variety of pollinators including hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to the bright red flowers. Many birds, including juncos and sparrows feed on the seeds.

Fire Pink © 2010 Patty Hankins

Fire Pink © 2010 Patty Hankins

Fire Pink © 2010 Patty Hankins

Fire Pink © 2010 Patty Hankins

 

I’ve mainly found Fire Pinks in the mountains of Tennessee when I visit in April. I love seeing the bright red splashes of color in the woods

:-)

 


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