(Plate CVII.)

Family

Pink.

Colour

Scarlet.

Odour

Scentless.

Range

New York southward and westward.

Time of Bloom

All summer.

Flowers: few; growing on pedicels in a cyme. Calyx: tubular; five-cleft; sticky; nodding in fruit. Corolla: of five lanceolate, deeply two-cleft petals. Stamens: ten. Pistil: one; styles, three. Leaves: small; lanceolate; thin. Stem: one to two feet high; erect; slender; pubescent.

The viscid substance that covers the calyx and stems of the fire pink has led emblematists, whose hearts have been full of compassion for the hapless insects held to die by its means, to associate the idea of remorseless fate with the plant. It is not thought that it assimilates its victims for nourishment as is customary with the insectivorous plants; and its large sticky calyx is therefore to be regretted, as it mars to a great extent the beauty of the brilliant flower. Dr. Erasmus Darwin, when speaking of American catchflies, said, "The viscid material which surrounds the stalks under the flowers is a curious contrivance to prevent insects from plundering the honey, or devouring the seed."

Fire Pink Virginia Catchfly Silene Virginica 187Fire Pink Virginia Catchfly Silene Virginica 188