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Lychnis chalcedonica AGM

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Herbaceous Perennial

Habit

Columnar/Upright

Resilience

Hardiness

H7 (very hardy)

Colour

Flower

Orange and Red in Summer

Foliage

Green in Spring and Summer

Size

Ultimate height

0.5-1 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

Maltese cross

Family

Caryophyllaceae


Lychnis can be biennials or perennials, with simple leaves and tubular, salver-shaped or star-shaped flowers in terminal clusters

L. chalcedonia is an erect herbaceous perennial to 1m in height, with oval leaves and small, bright vermilion flowers in compact, domed heads 10-12cm in width

Other common names

  • common rose campion
  • Constantinople campion
  • cross of Jerusalem
  • fireball
  • flower of Bristow
  • flower of Constantinople
  • gardener's delight
  • gardener's eye
  • great candlestick
  • Jerusalem cross
  • knight's cross
  • London pride
  • meadow campion
  • none-such
  • red robin
  • scarlet lightning
  • scarlet lychnis
  • tears of Christ

Synonym(s)

  • Lychnis chalcedonica 'Red Cross'

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, East-facing or West-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in moist, fertile soil in sun or partial shade. May require support in windy situations

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Sand, Loam or Chalk

Propagation

Propagate by seed in pots in a cold frame as soon as seed is ripe or in spring. Propagate by division or basal cuttings in early spring.

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Wildlife Gardens or Coastal


How to care

Pruning

Deadhead to prolong flowering then cut down in the autumn

Pests

May be attacked by aphids and slugs

Diseases

Generally disease free