(Map may reflect historical as well as recent sightings)
Spalding's catchfly is listed as threatened under the Endangered
Species Act (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2001).
Description and Life
Spalding's catchfly is a leafy, perennial plant in the pink family
(Caryophyllaceae) with one to several stems, 20-60 cm (8-24 in)
tall. The leaves are in 4-8 pairs, are lanceolate (lance-shaped),
and are 3-7 cm (1-3 in) long and 5-15 mm (0.2-0.6 in) broad. The
inflorescence (arrangement of flowers) is usually very leafy with
numerous crowded flowers. The corolla (petals of the flower, collectively)
is white. The seeds are wrinkled and inflated, measuring about
2 mm (0.1 in) long. Silene spaldingii faintly resembles S. scouleri,
but is more glandular. Spalding's catchfly may be distinguished
from Oregon catchfly (S. oregana) by its short petal blades and
large inflated seeds. Flowering typically occurs from June to
This species grows on mesic grassland prairies at
low- to mid- elevations. Associated species include Idaho fescue
(Festuca idahoensis), bluebunch wheatgrass (Agropyron spicatum),
Nutka rose (Rosa nutkana), purple avens (Geum triflorum), sticky
geranium (Geranium viscosissum), balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata),
and scattered Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa).
Reasons for Decline
Agricultural and urban development, livestock and
native ungulate grazing and trampling, herbicide treatment, and
competition from non-native plants have all contributed to the
decline of this species.
Spalding's catchfly is mainly a species of the Palouse Prairie
and adjacent areas in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.
It is known in Oregon from private land in Wallowa County and
on land owned by The Nature Conservancy, Forest Service, Bureau
of Land Management, and U.S. Air Force in Idaho, Washington and