White sticky catchfly

Islet flypaper

White sticky catchfly © Marianne Saviaho

The white sticky catchfly (Silene viscosa) favours islets where abundant bird droppings have formed nitrogen-rich layers of soil in which to grow. The same kind suitable soil can be found on many of the islands off the coast of Helsinki where people have built fortifications. The origin of the white sticky catchfly’s name becomes clear if you happen to touch one, as its shoots are indeed very sticky.