Sp. Pl. 1: 418. 1753.
Plants annual, with several decumbent shoots; taproot slender. Stems procumbent to ascending, branched, leafy, 15–45 cm, lanuginose, often sparsely so, viscid distally. Leaves 2 per node; proximal with blade obovate, spatulate, apex obtuse; distal sessile, blade ovate to lanceolate, 2–5 cm × 2–20 mm, apex acute, sparsely pubescent adaxially, more densely so abaxially. Inflorescences pseudoracemose, lax, solitary flowers in axils of leafy bracts. Pedicels erect in flower, sharply deflexed at base in fruit, usually shorter than calyx, pilose and stipitate-glandular. Flowers: calyx prominently 10-veined, obovoid, especially in fruit, clavate, constricted around carpophore and narrowed at mouth, umbilicate, inflated, 13–18 mm, loose and papery, pubescence glandular and eglandular, sparsely lanuginose, veins parallel, green or purple, with pale commissures, lobes triangular, ca. 2 mm, apex obtuse; corolla bright pink, clawed, claw equaling calyx, limb obtriangular, 2-lobed, 7–11 mm, lobes divergent, ovate, appendages 2, shorter than 1 mm, apex acute; stamens slightly longer than petal claw; stigmas 3, equaling petals. Capsules included in calyx, ovoid-conic, opening by 6 teeth; carpophore 3–6 mm. Seeds dark brown, broadly reniform, 1.3–1.5 mm, with concentric crescents of shallow tubercles on both sides, margins with larger, deeper tubercles. 2n = 24 (Europe).
Phenology: Flowering early summer.
Elevation: 0-2900 m
Introduced; B.C., Calif., Maine, N.J., N.Y., Oreg., Wyo., Europe.
Silene pendula is an attractive, rarely escaping and persisting garden plant readily recognized by its beautiful pink flowers, straggling leafy stems, racemelike inflorescences with axillary flowers, and the obovoid, papery, strongly veined calyx that is constricted below the middle. It is occasionally used in seeding roadsides.