Maiden’s Tears

Silene vulgaris

The thin white petals of maiden’s tears emerge from a green or light pink pod-like structure, giving the appearance of drops of water spilling out of a cup, and from further away looking like twinkle lights or fairy fireworks dotting the garden. Popular in the Mediterranean, its leaves and young shoots can be eaten boiled, fried, stewed, or added to an omelette, and leaves may be eaten fresh in salad. Its roots can be simmered in water to obtain saponin, which is used as soap to wash clothes but not dishes, as there is a slight toxicity. Used in traditional Western medicine as an emollient and fumigant.

Water: Moderate to Dry, drought tolerant, do not overwater

Hardiness: Frost Hardy

Habit: Up to 2' tall

Light: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Soil: Moderate, dry, or well-draining soil

Origin: Native to Eurasia, naturalized to North America

Maiden’s Tears