Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Silene noctiflora - Night-flowering Catchfly

Range & Status

Archaeophyte; European Temperate species. Mainly eastern England, especially East Anglia and in chalk areas. A few sites in Ireland.

Regional Distribution

Always been very rare in Cornwall. Only currently known from three 1km squares, at West Pentire (SW76), north of Porthtowan (SW64) and Two Burrows (SW74), but has occurred in 38.

Habitat & Ecology

Usually found in arable fields, on light, sandy soils, near the coast. Sometimes occurs as a casual on waste ground.


Intensive arable farming, and ironically, at its Porthtowan site, heathland recreation!


It is protected at West Pentire, where the arable fields are actively managed to maintain a diverse arable weed flora, by the National Trust, and part of the heathland recreation site north of Porthtowan, also owned by the National Trust, has been maintained as an arable field.

Click here to see Aphotoflora images by David Fenwick


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.