Silene douglasii

From Puget Prairie Plants
  • Scientific Name: Silene douglasii var. douglassii
  • Family: Caryophyllaceae
  • Common Names: Douglas's silene
  • Synonyms/Misapplications: Silene douglasii var. monantha, Silene monantha, Silene multicaulis
  • Codon: SILDOU

Photo by Ben Legler, 2004, also featured on Main Page


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Viridiplantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum: Spermatophytina
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Caryophyllanae
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Genus: Silene L.
Species: Silene douglasii Hook
Variety: Silene douglasii var.douglasii



Tufted, dioecious,[2] perennial herb[3] growing from a taproot and woody caudex with few white flowers, up to 40 cm tall.[4] Stems several, unbranched, slender, decumbent at base and ascending.[4] Basal leaves long-petiolate, oblanceolate to linear-lanceolate, to 5 cm long;[3] cauline leaves in 1-8 pairs, becoming sessile distally.[4] Flowers bractate, actinomorphic; calyx fused, 5-lobed, 10-nerved, green,[2] becoming inflated and papery in fruit;[3] petals 5, creamy white with green or purple coloration, clawed, limbs 2-lobed;[4] stamens 10, epipetalous;[2] styles 3-5,[4] ovary superior, becoming a 1-celled capsule.[3]

Bloom Period

Late May - July [3]


B.C. to California, in the Cascades and Olympic Mountains, east to western Montana, Nevada and Utah.[2]


Sagebrush steppe to open mountain slopes [2]


Nɨwɨ medicine, warm infusion of pounded plant used as an emetic for stomach pain.

Diné medicine, cold infusion used as lotion for coyote bites on man, sheep or horse. [5]


Easily propagated by cutting or seed [6]

Photo Gallery


  1. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved from
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Hitchcock, C. L., Cronquist, A., Giblin, D., & Legler, B. et al. (2018). Flora of the Pacific Northwest: an illustrated manual. Seattle: University of Washington Press. pp. 350-353.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 WTU Herbarium, Burke Museum, & University of Washington. Retrieved from
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Flora of North America. Retrieved from
  5. Native American Ethnobotany Database. Retrieved from