On the dry sunny slope at the top of the field, there where the fence protects many plant- which grow and bloom in the June sunshine, there are thin, wiry plants, two feet tall or so. which open tiny pinkish-white lowers on a bright day. The flowers axe very small lor a plant so Large, yet the whole thing is not coarse, as so many summer plants are but has the wiry attenuation of a compact plant grown spindling. This is sleepy catchfly, a member of the pink family.
Silene antirrhina L.
June Sunny slopes.
The little starry flowers open above a large, stiff, somewhat inflated calyx, which stands erect on the stem. The leaves are narrow and tapered opposite on the jointed stem. And this is the curious thing about the sleepy catchfly. On that slender stem there are patches of brown sticky stuff which serve to prevent ants from crawling up the stem to reach the flowers a natural flypaper or "tanglefoot" which serves the same purpose as hand- of a similar substance put around the trunk- of tree-.
The flowers of sleepy catchfly are pollinated by flying insects; ants are forbidden. The flowers open only for a short while during a sunny day and usually are closed by noon, hence the common name of sleepy catchfly. There among the tall grasses and coarser weeds the slim stems of the catchfly live out their lives, blossom briefly, make inflated pods of seeds, scatter them, disappear. And on the dead brown stalks on a winter day one may still see the inflated calyces and sticky patches on the stems.