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Sea Campion

This unusual member of the Pink family is an abundant sight on the sea cliffs, rocky places, gravel paths or shingle coastlines around the whole of Scotland. It has sometimes been confused with Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris) which is more erect.

Sea Campion is a perennial herb, having many prostrate, glabrous shoots that form a dense mat, with wax-covered, bluish-green and lance-shaped leaves. Leaves grow up to 3mm long in opposite pairs up the stem and are stalk-less.

The calyx from which the petals appear is a reddish bladder-like fused oval covered with a network of veins. Out of this grow 5 petals, each petal being deeply lobed into 2, giving the impression of 10 narrow petals.  The flowers are invariably white, perhaps with a violet tinge, and about 25mm in diameter. In the centre are 10 white stamens with dark red anthers.

The fruit is a light brown capsule which splits into 5 lobes, these curve outwards to release the seeds.

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