Silene Species, Garden Catchfly, None-So-Pretty, Sweet-William Catchfly

Silene rubella subsp. rubella

Family: Caryophyllaceae (kar-ree-oh-fil-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Silene (sy-LEE-nee) (Info)
Species: rubella subsp. rubella
Synonym:Silene armeria




Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:



12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Magenta (pink-purple)

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

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

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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

East Liverpool, Ohio

Roseburg, Oregon

Barto, Pennsylvania

Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Warminster, Pennsylvania

Aiken, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina

Fort Worth, Texas

New Caney, Texas

Leesburg, Virginia

Clinton, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 28, 2020, bebebrat from East Liverpool, OH wrote:

When I was a child my grandmother and mother always had this cheerful plant growing in the garden. Then it was in my garden and I loved it. Fast forward, moved to another house and lost the plant. Years and years later, after many web searches, I have found the name and a small plant in my garden sown from a wild flower mix. I am really excited
to rediscover this small gem. Sure it can be invasive, but just like my Jewels of Opar, or Nicotania Alba, you can cull them as easy as pulling a weed.


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 prof... read more


On Jul 1, 2012, MTVineman from Glenwood, MN (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 a... read more


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.


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.


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.


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.?


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


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