Silene burchellii is an erect perennial herb, up to 70 cm, all parts with short hairs. Leaves are normally linear. Flowers are borne on one side of the raceme and vary in colour from white, pinkish to purple-brown; calyx tubular. Fruit a stalked ellipsoid capsule held in the persistent calyx. It is a highly variable specie.
It is best interplanted with small grasses that can support it. It flowers in the evening and is probably moth pollinated. The flowers are very unusual. Plant in a group for the best effect.