Fig. 99. - Night-flowering Catchfly (Silene nocti-flora). X 1/4
Range: New Brunswick and Ontario southward to New Jersey,
Illinois, and Iowa. Habitat: Moist soil; fields, meadows, roadsides, and waste places.
A beautiful flower, but also a very pernicious weed. Stems thickly tufted, six inches to two feet in height, pale green, smooth and glaucous; some stems of each tuft are flowerless but bear many leaves that assimilate food for storage in the rootstocks.
Leaves rather thick in texture and glaucous, oblong, pointed, the upper ones often meeting around the stems, the lower ones usually spatulate, narrowing to margined petioles. Flowers in loose, open panicles, on slender pedicels, white, drooping, each blossom about a half-inch broad, the five petals deeply cleft, and ten long stamens out-thrust, tipped with brown anthers; styles three; calyx pale green, very much inflated, beautifully veined, sometimes with pinkish purple, sometimes with markings of deeper green. Capsule broadly ovoid, opening with five recurved teeth. Seed rounded kidney-shaped, brown, roughened with fine tubercles. (Fig. 100.)
Prevent seed production. Cut the stalks from the roots well below the crowns, with hoe, spud, or broad-bladed cultivator, so frequently that little or no sustenance may be given the creeping rootstocks. If the infested ground is in meadow it should be broken up and put to cultivated crops, well tilled for two or more seasons.