None so pretty forms small patches of sticky fluid on the stems of its flowers that entangle flies and are the reason for its common name. A native of southern Europe, none so pretty is now naturalized in parts of North America. The most prevalent color of these annual plants is pink, but there is a white-flowered one, too.
Description of none so pretty: The plants grow a clumplike rosette with narrow leaves and flowering stems rising 1 to 2 feet tall. The many flowers are in branched clusters, with each flower about 3/4 inch in diameter. The 5-petaled flowers faintly resemble a star.
Growing none so pretty: Grow silene in full sun in ordinary garden soil with good drainage. Transplant well-hardened plants to the garden as soon as the ground is workable in the spring. Space plants 6 to 9 inches apart.
Propagating none so pretty: Start new plants from seed. Sow seeds indoors 8 to 10 weeks before transplanting to the garden. Seed germination takes 15 to 20 days at 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Uses for none so pretty: Their modest size adapts well to rock gardens and in planting pockets. Use them in beds and borders, planting them near the front for the best show. Silenes bloom over a long season and look good in mixed plantings and old-fashioned cottage gardens. They'll also grow well in containers, preferably combined with other flowers with more substance. However, the airy stems with small clusters of flowers will give an open look to the container garden. They are not long-lasting as cut flowers.
None so pretty related species: Silene gallica subspecies quinquevulnera has white flowers with ruby-red centers. This plant grows 12 to 18 inches high. Silene pendula has drooping sprays of flowers in pink, shell pink, rose, and white. It grows up to 12 inches high.
Scientific name of none so pretty: Silene armeria