Silene laciniata 

Mexican Catch-Fly/Cardinal Catchfly - Silene laciniata 
Railroad Canyon, Black Range - July 23, 2017
Photographs immediately above

Silene laciniata, is known by many names in English: Cardinal Catchfly, Mexican Campion, Fringed Indian Pink, Mexican-pink, Campion, Indian Pink, Cardinal Catchfly, and in the case of this subspecies, Gregg’s Mexican Pink.  This is, Silene laciniata greggii, there are two other subspecies.  Like many plants its “official taxonomy” has bounced around, being initially described as a full species, Silene greggii, by Asa Gray, in 1853.  Gray described more than 7,000 species and worked with numerous collectors including Engelmann, Fremont, Wright, Lemmon, Fendler, Watson, and Rothrock - names that dot the west.  It was Sereno Watson who classified this plant as S. l. greggii, in 1875.  The type specimen for this plant (at bottom of page) was collected by Dr. J. Gregg, in Mexico, in 1848-1849.

In the Black Range, this plant is generally found at mid to high elevation.  I have seen it many times near Kingston in the Middle Percha and in Dry Creek.  It is also common in Railroad Canyon, on the Sawyers Peak Trail, and along the Hillsboro Peak Trail.  It is generally found in association with Ponderosa Pine, in those areas where sunlight is prevalent.  

All of those flower rays are in fact five deeply divided petals (each with four lobes).  Cardinal Catchfly can grow to 3 feet, although most of those that I see are shorter than that.  A description of this species is available at Flora of North America.

Hillsboro Peak Trail, Black Range - October 17, 2017

Dry Creek Just west of Kingston


Sawyers Peak Trail, Black Range New Mexico, USA

Railroad Canyon, Black Range
September 16, 2020
Photographs immediately above and two below

Lower Gallinas Campground, Black Range
August 22, 2013

Carbonate Creek, Black Range

Railroad Canyon, October 10, 2013


© Robert Barnes 2018-2023