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Night-Flowering Catchfly (Silene noctiflora L.)

Crop Impacts: Pasture

Night-Flowering Catchfly 1

About Night-flowering Catchfly:

Nightflowering Catchfly is an annual weed that originated in Europe, but now can be found throughout North America. It has a thin taproot that is finely branched, and reproduces by the release of their seeds.

Family: Pink Family (Caryophyllaceae)

Night-Flowering Catchfly 2 Night-Flowering Catchfly 3

Night-flowering Catchfly Scouting and Prevention:

The stem of a Nightflowering Catchfly can grow from 20cm to 1m high. It is typically straight with many branches near the top of the plant. The leaves of a Night-flowering Catchfly sit two per node, sitting opposite from one another. They are tapering at both ends, with the lower leaves being wider near the tip of the leaf, and the middle leaves up being widest near the stem. The stem, branches and upper leaves are covered in a thick sticky hair. As the name says, these flowers open during the night and a little into the next day. The Night-flowering Catchfly have light green sepals, that come together with 5 predominate veins that line up with 5 tapered, long teeth and 5 smaller veins. The creamy white or pinkish pedals flare out in a circle, with a diameter of 1 to 3 cm. Each of these pedals is deeply lobed. Night-flowering Catchfly produces bisexual flowers that have 10 stamens and 1 pistil. The pistil has 3 long styles that becomes an ovoid seedpod, which when opened has 6 teeth, and spreads many small, grayish-orange, kidney-shaped, rough seeds. Night-flowering Catchfly flowers from June to August.

Common locations

  • - Dry soil
  • - Sandy soil
  • - Cultivated land


Prevention of Nightflowering Catchfly is less expensive and less time-consuming than trying to control it. Make sure when you are seeding a new area you are doing so with certified weed-free seeds. If there is an infested area on your property, be sure to drive around, instead of through it. Finally, make sure to give all equipment that has been in infested fields a good clean, to make sure no seeds are transferred.

Night-flowering Catchfly Control:

Cultural Control

The use of grass and forage crops, that is mowed yearly, should provide control in areas where mowing is acceptable. The infested area should be left with forage crops for at least 5 years to accomplish significant reduction of the weed seed population.

Chemical Control

Trying to control older and larger plants is much more difficult and time consuming, therefore timely application is critical. Herbicides will be ineffective if applied when the plant is under stress. The herbicides will have more effect right before or right after rain due to the fact that the roots of the plants are taking in water at the time, which in turn means they will be taking in the herbicide as well. There are very few herbicides that provide adequate control over Night-flowering Catchfly. The main herbicide combination suggested is bromoxynil + MCPA.

Latin / Alternative Night-flowering Catchfly names:

  • - Silene noctiflora L.,
  • - Sticky cockle
  • - Sil?ne noctiflore
  • - Sil?ne de nuit
  • - Attrape-mouche

Additional Night-flowering Catchfly Resources