This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Cucubalus Behen L. Sp. Pl. 414. 1753. Not Silene Behen L. Cucubalus latifolius Mill. Gard. Dict. Ed. 8, no. 2.
1768. Behen vulgaris Moench, Meth. 709. 1794. S. vulgaris Garcke, Fl. Deutsch. Ed. 9, 64. 1869. Silene inflata J. E. Smith, Fl. Brit 2: 292. 1800. S. latifolia Britten & Rendle, List Brit. Seed-Plants 5. 1907.
Perennial, branched from the base, glaucous and glabrous, or rarely pubescent, 6'-18' high. Leaves opposite, ovate-lanceolate or oblong, acute, variable in size, the lower often spatulate; flowers white, 6"-10" broad, in loose cymose panicles, often drooping; calyx at first tubular-campanulate, at length inflated and globose, 4"-6" long, strongly veined; petals 2-cleft, with or without a small crown.
In meadows and waste places, New Brunswick to Ontario, Washington, New Jersey and Missouri. Also on the Pacific Coast. Naturalized from Europe and native also of Asia. Summer. Called also Behen, White Ben, Cow-bell, Spattling or Frothy poppy. Bull-rattle, Rattle-bags, Devil's rattle-box. Snappers. Knap-bottle. Bird's-eggs. Sea-pink. Maiden's-tears.
Silene nutans L. Sp. Pl. 417. 1753.
Perennial, glandular-pubescent above or nearly glabrous, stem slender, erect, 1°-2° tall. Lower and basal leaves spatulate, subacute at the apex, 2'-5' long, 3"-8" wide, tapering into slender petioles; stem-leaves few and distant, narrowly oblong or lanceolate, acute or acuminate at the apex, sessile, the uppermost (bracts) very small; flowers 6"-8" broad, white or pink, nodding or spreading in a loose panicle; pedicels slender, 4"-12" long; calyx oblong-cylindric in flower, 4"-5" long, glandular, its teeth triangular, acute; petals 2-cleft or sometimes 4-cleft, the lobes narrowly oblong; capsule ovoid, S"-6" high, distending the calyx.
Silene virginica L. Sp. Pl. 419. 1753.
Perennial, slender, ascending or erect, viscid-pubescent, branching above, 1°-2° high. Leaves thin, those of the base and lower part of the stem spatulate or oblanceolate, 3'-5' long, obtuse or acute, tapering into a winged petiole; upper leaves oblong-lanceolate, acute, sessile; inflorescence loosely cymose-paniculate; flowers crimson, 1'-1 1/2' broad; pedicels slender, 1/2'-2' long; calyx tubular-campanu-late, 9"-12" long, enlarged by the ripening pod, its teeth ovate, acute, scarious-margined; petals 2-cleft, 2-lobed, or irregularly incised, crowned, the limb oblong or linear-oblong.