White campion (Silene alba (Mill.) E. H. L. Krause)
Also known as White cockle
Biennial or short lived perennial. Seeds germinate primarily in the fall, but seedlings can also emerge in late spring. Plants initially form a rosette and subsequently produce erect leafy stems with flowers. Plants overwinter as a rosette. Seedlings and flowering plants are often found together in the spring.
Emerges from soil depths of 1-inch or less.
Mode(s) of Reproduction: Reproduces primarily by seed. New plants can also be formed from adventitious buds on crown-roots segments.
Production Range: Averages 367 seeds per capsule and 66 capsules per plant, total average seed production is 24,000 seeds per plant.
Dispersal Mechanisms: None.
Longevity: No information.
Dormancy: Short period of dormancy after seed dispersal, 11 to 48% of seed germinated after 1 month.
Moderately competitive, dependent on white campion populations.
Preferred Soil/Field Conditions:
Rich, well-drained soils. White campion does not tolerate wet soils.
Predation/grazing: No information.
Decay: No information.
Tillage: Not a huge problem in tilled systems. Tillage reduces white cockle infestations by 98%. However, tillage can move root crown segments, which can produce new plants. Deep burial or drying on soil surface cause very little regenerations from roots.
Rotary Hoeing: Not effective.
Flaming: No information.
Mowing: Frequent mowing or cutting will reduce white campion infestations.
Crop rotation: Mostly a problem in rotations that have little soil disturbance (no-till and perennial crops).
Planting date: Most likely will not affect white campion infestations.
Application timing and effectiveness: Fall herbicide applications are more effective than spring applications. Spring herbicide applications should be made prior to bolting and flowering. White campion is tolerant of 2,4-D products, so other herbicides like glyphosate should be used for control. Please refer to E-434, "MSU Weed Control Guide for Field Crops," for herbicide recommendations.
Can serve as an alternate host for viruses that can infect sugarbeet and spinach.