One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A plant of the pink family, typically having pink or white flowers with notched petals, found in both Eurasia and North America.
Genera Silene and Lychnis, family Caryophyllaceae
- ‘At first its banks are lined with campion, vetch, roses, bulrushes and meadowsweet and later with poplar trees heavy with overhanging mistletoe.’
- ‘It was from Manorbier that I persuaded the children to join me in a walk along a small stretch of Pembrokeshire's 186 mile coastal path, threading between heather, sea pinks and campion along a volley of headlands.’
- ‘White campion is one of the few examples of plants with separate sexes and with X and Y sex chromosomes.’
- ‘Lesser stitchwort, Stellaia graminea, has tiny white flowers with deeply divided petals while red campion, Silene dioica, is much more pink than red.’
- ‘Planting pot-grown woodland wildflowers such as primrose, wood anemone, foxglove and pink campion can further enhance the habitat.’
- ‘The white campion, Silene latifolia (previously Melandrium album), is a common eudicot weed found in both North America and Europe.’
- ‘Three hours later I was passing up a wooded mountain path with wild strawberries and meadow campion underfoot; in the valley below you could hear the bells of the convents of Cilaos.’
- ‘You only touch on the village, taking more railway line, a cutting colourful with campion and elder, that links with a cul-de-sac lane leading down to the sea.’
- ‘There were still flowers in plenty, pink campion, toadflax, small blue scabious, honeysuckle, and six-inch mushrooms, inedible no doubt, but the blackberries were ripe and juicy enough to quench thirst.’
- ‘He set out into the sun-soaked, blossom-perfumed clearing, wending his way with care amid white campion, goosefoot, and dock plants.’
- ‘Getting there meant driving along roads lined with green hedges full of bright pink campion and foxgloves just starting to come out, and bluebells almost over for another year except on some upland areas.’
- ‘One of the happiest days I've had in my garden all year was last week, when I did nothing but shake out dried seed heads of red campion, gather the first wave of succulent fruits of nasturtium and chop off exotic poppy seed heads to dry.’
- ‘If you have been pining for Dales meadows brilliant with flowers the ones by the quiet lane are fair enough, yellow with buttercups, and the verges red with campions.’
- ‘As well as holding a huge range of grassland wild flowers, such as ox-eye daisies, poppies, campion and corn marigold, the nursery grows plants from wetland, upland and woodland habitats.’
Mid 16th century: perhaps related to champion. The name was originally used for the rose campion, whose name in Latin ( Lychnis coronaria) and Greek ( lukhnis stephanōmatikē) means ‘campion fit for a crown’, and which was said in classical times to have been used for victors' garlands.
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