Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Ashwagandha
Withania somnifera

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Withania
Species: somnifera (som-NEE-fer-uh) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

30 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Green
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By drdon
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By drdon
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By marwood0
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By cactus_lover
Thumbnail #7 of Withania somnifera by cactus_lover

There are a total of 12 photos.
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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive marwood0 On Sep 21, 2008, marwood0 from Golden, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

Interesting medicinal plant, reputed to be a vegetable version of rennet (for cheese making). The flowers are tiny and hard to notice, but the foliage is nice looking. The tiny berries grow covered in a calyx and have a pungent somewhat unpleasant and bitter flavor, as you would expect for an aruvedic medicine. They might make an interesting spice if used in moderation. Easy to germinate and grow, though they stayed small for me (~0.5 m) at my altitude (~1670 m). They enjoy full sun but will also grow in 1/2 day sun. No problems with pests in my experience, and bees do check out the flowers. Mine have done best in a moist mix of soil, manure, and compost like many Solanaceae do.

Neutral gregr18 On Jun 12, 2006, gregr18 from Bridgewater, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

There are several translations for the common name of this plant. All of them involve "horse", since the Sanskrit word for horse is ashwa or something similar. Gandha, from the information I have read, is translated into English in several ways: "vitality", "scent or odor", and "sweat or perspiration". It is also possible that the name is a pun on a combination of these meanings.

The name was given in reference to the strengthening powers attributed to this plant in Ayurvedic medicine. It is fairly common to see Ashwagandha supplements sold in health food shops, as well as main-stream nutritional supplement outlets.


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

Novato, California
Redding, California
Temecula, California
Winchester, California
Pepeekeo, Hawaii
Staten Island, New York
Austin, Texas

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