Plants perennial; taproot stout; caudex much-branched, woody, producing many erect-to-straggling, little-branched flowering shoots. Stems erect, 5–40 cm, softly pubescent to scabrous, eglandular or viscid-glandular, especially distally, very rarely glabrous, with several pairs of leaves equaling or shorter than internodes. Leaves sessile, or basal with short pseudopetiole; blade linear to lanceolate or broadly ovate, base round to cuneate, apex acute to shortly acuminate, puberulent on both surfaces, sometimes glandular. Inflorescences usually with single dichotomy, rarely double, open, bracteate, branches often elongate, flowers 1 per node; bracts foliaceous. Pedicels sharply reflexed at base, especially after anthesis, equaling calyx. Flowers nodding; calyx obscurely 10-veined, broadly campanulate, lobed, 6–8 mm, enlarging to 13–16 mm in fruit, herbaceous, usually with short, dense pubescence throughout, often glandular-viscid, veins green, rarely purplish tinged, conspicuous pale commissures absent; lobes ovate-triangular, 1/2 to equaling tube, herbaceous; petals creamy white, often greenish abaxially, rarely pink tinged to dusky pink (subsp. campanulata), clawed, to 2 times calyx, claw villose, limb deeply divided and fan-shaped with many narrow, linear lobes, lobes rapidly curling, margins deeply divided or erose, appendages 2–4, to 2 mm; stamens exserted; filaments hairy at base; styles 3, to 2 times calyx. Capsules ovoid, ca. equaling calyx and often splitting it, opening by 6 broadly triangular teeth; carpophore 1–2.5 mm. Seeds brown, reniform, 2–2.5 mm broad, coarsely and ± evenly papillate; papillae ca. as long as broad.
Subspecies 2 (2 in the flora).
|1||Petals dusky pink; leaf blades linear to lanceolate, usually less than 10 mm broad; stem pubescence scabrid, hairs 2 or 4 times as long as broad||Silene campanulata subsp. campanulata|
|1||Petals creamy white; leaf blades lanceolate to ovate, usually more than 10 mm broad; stem pubescence not scabrid, hairs at least 5 times as long as broad||Silene campanulata subsp. glandulosa|