Silene capensis
“Xhosa Dream Herb”

Silene capensis “Xhosa Dream Herb”Silene capensis “Xhosa Dream Herb”

Silene capensis, I dub thee “Sleeping Beauty”!! As the light dims in the evening, the profuse & lovely, 1.5” pure white flowers unfurl & perfume the air & its appeal is undeniable. The scent isn’t over-strong & clobbering, but whoever described it as being like “cloves, jasmine & bananas” wasn’t exaggerating! Yum! Thus far it has been almost ever-blooming in my shady home garden, with 2’ plus stems above the lower green leaves. And here’s a little “form follows function” poetry for you: Silene capensis is also a rare & sought after “oneirogen” – an herb that is used to bring about lucid & vivid dreaming. Look it up! Grows to around 2’ tall & 1’ wide. Best in rich soil. Cut back when the plant looks bedraggled, give it a heaping shovel of compost & it quickly reblooms!

Claire Woods


USDA Zones 9-10