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PlantFiles: Sweet-William Catchfly, None-So-Pretty
Silene armeria

Family: Caryophyllaceae (kar-ree-oh-fil-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Silene (sy-LEE-nee) (Info)
Species: armeria (ar-MER-ee-uh) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

33 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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5 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive MaryKayD On Jun 26, 2014, MaryKayD from Hampden, ME wrote:

So THAT is what it is! I saw it growing out of the gravel at a local greenhouse and I asked the owner what is was. She laughed and said, "A WEED!". She said I could dig it out of the gravel if I wanted it, so I took a slip.

I love it. I really do. It re seeds but pulls up so easily. It adds pops of intense pink color where ever I put it. It grows between and around other plants without choking them out or blocking the light. They re bloom with deadheading and they are airily gorgeous tucked into bouquets. They are best tucked around other plants giving that unruly Cottage Garden look because standing alone, their foliage looks a bit weedy. I find Forget-me-nots much more invasive than these. I love those too.

I love the colorful unruly look of profusely blooming Cottage Gardens, so for me, this cutie is a keeper.

Neutral MTVineman On Jul 1, 2012, MTVineman from Helena, MT (Zone 5a) wrote:

To say this plant spreads is in understatement! Uff da! I've never seen a plant take off and reseed as much as this one does. I'm having to pull it up all over my gardens where I don't want it that is. It's a very beautiful and attractive plant, don't get me wrong, but watch out, if it finds a spot it likes it will spread like a wildfire in Montana and that's just where I am! The bee's and hummers like it but I see why it's called Catch Fly too, as the stems and most of the plant are really sticky. Goes good next to my Nicotiana sylvestris as that has pretty sticky leaves too. I even have this coming up in my front porch flower boxes. Now how did it get in those? Weird plant and obviously wants to propagate itself! If you want quick colour and a plant that will last forever, get this one and maybe add some Hesperis seeds. It obviously likes our soil and climate! I'd give it a positive rating but having to pull tons of it up and the stickiness of the plant when doing so, force me to give it a Neutral.

Negative microbiology1 On Oct 10, 2011, microbiology1 from Foxboro, MA wrote:

Never again! To say that this plant self-sows is an understatement. It spreads worse than most weeds. It flowers and seeds all season long so you will get self-sowing the same season. I'm fairly confident for every seed you plant you get 100 seeds in return. Unless you're planting this in an area where you want it to spread prolifically I would avoid it at all costs.

Positive maccionoadha On Aug 12, 2008, maccionoadha from Halifax, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant can absorb and accumulate toxic metals/minerals. Avoid eating. Keep away from cattle, pets and children.

Positive emilybee On Aug 8, 2008, emilybee from Los Osos, CA wrote:

I love this flower. It was really easy to grow, bloomed before I knew it and the color is so striking! It's also fun to see the sticky stuff at the base of the flowers (an interesting feature). These flowers are cheerful and I've had great luck with them in containers.

Positive Neomia On May 17, 2008, Neomia from Aiken, SC wrote:

This plant was added to my flower garden from my sowing a mixture of wild flower seeds. It took me awhile to locate the name of this easy to grow colorful plant. It reseeds easily in my yard and I enjoy each cluster of blooms. It is not invasive and if it does comes up where I don't want it, I just reset it somewhere else in the garden. Now, I am curious as to how it got the name catchfly.?

Positive digging_dirt On Mar 3, 2007, digging_dirt from comebychance, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

this plant growes realy will and makes a great filler in a flower bed

Neutral poppysue On Nov 2, 2001, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

This hardy annual will colonize and form large drifts of electric pink blossoms. It is easy to grow and once established it re-seeds year after year. It grows to a height of 18 inches and prefers a sunny site. Seeds can be planted in fall or early spring. Itís not fussy about soil conditions and will continue blooming if faithfully deadheaded


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Seward, Alaska
Baywood-los Osos, California
Keystone Heights, Florida
Lake City, Florida
Rincon, Georgia
Saint Charles, Illinois
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Brownfield, Maine
Hampden, Maine
Foxboro, Massachusetts
Halifax, Massachusetts
Medway, Massachusetts
Sandwich, Massachusetts
Bowlus, Minnesota
Winona, Minnesota
Aurora, Missouri
Helena, Montana
Blair, Nebraska
Dover, New Hampshire
Greenville, New Hampshire
Moorestown, New Jersey
Rochester, New York
Schenectady, New York
Wallkill, New York
Roseburg, Oregon
Barto, Pennsylvania
Warminster, Pennsylvania
Aiken, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
New Caney, Texas
Leesburg, Virginia
Clinton, Washington

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