Purple Cockle

Biological Name:

Silene coeli-rosa (Purple-Cockle)

Natural Habitat:

Purple-Cockle: This plant is native to Europe and Asia and grows in a variety of habitats, including fields, meadows, and along roadsides.


Purple-Cockle is a winter annual weed that is native to Europe and Asia. It has hairy stems and leaves and the leaves are deeply lobed. The flowers are small and white and they are followed by curved spiny seed pods.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is agrostemma poisonous?
A: Agrostemma githago – L. The seed and leaves are poisonous, containing saponin-like substances[4, 19, 76]. Although poisonous, saponins are poorly absorbed by the human body and so most pass through without harm.

Q: Is Corncockle poisonous to humans?
A: Corncockle is a poisonous plant, despite it previously being used in folk medicines.

Q: Is Cowbane poisonous to humans?
A: Cowbane, also called water hemlock, is one of the most dangerously toxic plants in North America. It has been known to cause fatal poisoning in humans, dogs, and livestock animals. Symptoms appear quickly and can cause death in only a few hours.

Q: Is Inkweed poisonous to humans?
A: All parts of inkweed are also toxic. Inkweed flowers and leaves.

Q: Is Boobialla poisonous?
A: Native species such as Pituri Bush (Duboisia hopwoodii), Boobialla (Myoporum acuminatum) and Swainsona (Swainsona canescens) are also poisonous.

Q: Are Rattlepods poisonous to humans?
A: The seeds when eaten in quantity (40% of grain mix) may cause acute death. More commonly liver disease results from eating the plant or seeds. All parts of the plant are toxic, even when it is dried.

Q: Where does corn cockle grow?
A: Corn Cockle is an annual herb and weed native to Europe that has naturalized in most of the USA and can be found in all areas of NC mostly in disturbed areas as meadows and fields. The stems are hairy with opposite narrow leaves. The flowers are solitary with 5 pink to purple petals that bloom all summer.

Q: Can you eat cockle Raw?
A: They may be most associated with Dublin, but cockles are available all over the world. Their small, heart-shaped shells contain a small, delicate morsel of flesh that can be eaten raw, steamed or boiled.

Q: Is a cockle the same as a clam?
A: While cockles look a lot like clams—being between two shells and all—but the two are actually distant cousins. You can tell the difference when you turn its shell sideways: a true cockle (as opposed to a small littleneck clam) has a rounded, heart-shaped shell with a slightly ribbed texture.

Q: Can you get cockles in the US?
A: Most cockles sold in the United States are from New Zealand aquaculture operations for Austrovenus strutchburyi, while a smaller share is blood cockles (Anadara granosa), farmed in Thailand and Malaysia and harvested wild in Indonesia. South Australia is poised to enter the U.S. cockle market.

Q: Is a cockle a scallop?
A: Though the shell of a cockle may superficially resemble that of a scallop because of the ribs, cockles can be distinguished from scallops morphologically in that cockle shells lack “auricles”” (triangular ear-shaped protrusions near the hinge line) and scallop shells lack a pallial sinus.”

Q: What months Can you pick cockles?
A: Seasonality. Cockles are most abundant from September to April.

Q: Do bees like corn cockle?
A: Corncockle (Agrostemma githago) Seeds Displaying dainty yet eye-catchingly bright magenta flowers from May right through until September, this is an attractive plant to bees and a lovely addition to any flower border or meadow.

About the author

Samuel is a gardening professional and enthusiast who has spent over 20 years advising homeowners and farm owners on weed identification, prevention and removal. He has an undergraduate degree in plant and soil science from Michigan State University.