Silene vulgaris, or bladder champion, is a herbaceous perennial plant in zone 4-7 and so-called for the bladder-like bulge that sites just behind the five-petaled flower - this is actually the fused sepals. It is native to Europe, where in some parts it is eaten. In Italy the leaves of this plant may be used as an ingredient in risotto, pasta, soups or salads. It is commonly known as sculpit, stridolo, or by the obsolete scientific name Silene inflata. Easy to grow, it is almost completely unknown outside of northern Italy, where it is treasured and honored with a festival every April in the little mountain town of Galeata, northeast of Florence.
Blooming from April through October, these fantastic flower pouches drive pollinators wild and on sunny days swarms of bees dive completely inside the flower, emerging entirely covered in pollen. Several species of hummingbirds and butterflies crowding around the blossoms.