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Uses

Toxic parts

Although no mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it does contain saponins. Although toxic, these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm. They are also broken down by thorough cooking. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is advisable not to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].

Edible uses

Notes

Young shoots and leaves - raw or cooked[1][2][3][4][5]. The young leaves are sweet and very agreeable in salads[6]. The cooked young shoots, harvested when about 5cm long, have a flavour similar to green peas but with a slight bitterness[7]. This bitterness can be reduced by blanching the shoots as they appear from the ground[7]. When pureed it is said to rival the best spinach purees[7]. The leaves can also be finely chopped and added to salads[7]. The leaves should be used before the plant starts to flower[4]. Some caution is advised, see the notes on toxicity above.

Leaves

Material uses

Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it is most likely that the following use can be made of the plant:- The root is used as a soap substitute for washing clothes etc[8][9]. The soap is obtained by simmering the root in hot water.

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The plant is said to be emollient and is used in baths or as a fumigant[10]. The juice of the plant is used in the treatment of ophthalmia[10].
There are no medicinal uses listed for Silene vulgaris.

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow early spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.

If you have sufficient seed, an outdoor sowing in situ can be made.

Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Silene vulgaris. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a well-drained moisture retentive light loamy soil in a sunny position[11][12].

A good moth plant[13].

Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Silene vulgaris. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Silene vulgaris.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Silene vulgaris
Genus
Silene
Family
Caryophyllaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
6
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.1 Mabey. R. Food for Free. Collins ISBN 0-00-219060-5 (1974-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Ceres. Free for All. Thorsons Publishers ISBN 0-7225-0445-4 (1977-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.2 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Larkcom. J. Salads all the Year Round. Hamlyn (1980-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Les Ecologistes de l'Euzi?re Les Salades Sauvages Not given. ISBN 2-906128-04-X (1994-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.4 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.2 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    11. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    12. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    13. ? Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
    14. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)

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