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a genus of perennial herbs of the family Caryophyllaceae. The stems are often sticky under the upper inter-nodes. The pentamerous flowers are in dichasia that are gathered in an elongated panicled cluster. The corolla, which has a crown, is raspberry red, purple, or, less frequently, white. The fruit is a capsule with a five-loculate base.
There are five species, distributed in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. The USSR has two species: red German catchfly (V. vulgaris) and arctic campion (V. alpina). The former, which is 30–50 cm (up to 90 cm) tall, is common in the European USSR, Ciscaucasia, and the southern part of Western Siberia. The plant grows on dry meadows, on slopes, along forest edges, and near dwellings; it is often cultivated as an ornamental. Arctic campion, which grows to a height of 15 cm, is found in regions farther north and in the mountains of Western Europe; it is sometimes raised in rock gardens.