LYCHNIS

FAMILY: Caryophyllaceae

TYPE
  • Perennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Varies by Species
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8

Plant Details

Hardy, old-fashioned garden flowers, all very tolerant of adverse soils. The different kinds vary in appearance, but all offer eye-catching colors in summer. Plants are generally short lived and need to be replaced every few years.

L. alpina. ALPINE CAMPION. From Europe and northeastern North America. Mounding, tufted plant, with narrow, dark green leaves forming a rosette to 68 in. tall and wide. In summer, dense clusters of rosy purple flowers rise above the foliage. 'Alba' has white flowers; 'Rosea' bears soft pink blooms. Good edging or rock garden plant. Regular water.

L. arkwrightii. ARKWRIGHT CAMPION. Hybrid of L. chalcedonica and L.haageana. To 1 ft. tall, 1 ft. wide, with brown-tinted dark green leaves. Clusters of 1-in., orange-scarlet flowers. Remove faded blossoms for repeat bloom. 'Vesuvius' is taller (to 2 ft.), with large orange-red flowers; 'Orange Gnome' ('Orange Zwerg'), sporting bright orange flowers, grows only 57 in. tall and wide. Regular water.

L. chalcedonica. MALTESE CROSS. Native to Russia. Loose, open growth to 23 ft. high and 1 ft. wide, with hairy leaves and stems. Dense terminal clusters of scarlet, -in. flowers with deeply cut petals. Effective in large borders with white-blossomed or gray-foliaged plants. 'Alba' is a white-flowered form. Regular water.

L. coronata. ORANGE CATCHFLY. From Korea and northeast China. Grows 13 ft. tall, 2 ft. wide. Upright stems carry deep green, oval, pointed leaves 23 in. long. Flowers in a lovely shade of salmon-pink to apricot-orange are 22 in. wide, held singly or in clusters of three or more. Each petal has frilled edges; a deep central notch; and a long, slender tooth along one side. 'Orange Sherbet' has light orange blooms on a compact plant 1 ft. high and wide. Easy to grow from seed, blooming in the first year. Pinch young plants to induce bushiness. Moderate to regular water.

L. coronaria. ROSE CAMPION. From southeastern Europe. Grows to 12 ft. tall, with attractive white, silky foliage and magenta to crimson flowers that are a little less than an inch across. Effective massed. 'Alba' has white flowers; 'Angel's Blush' bears white blossoms with a deep pink eye. 'Gardeners' World' has double red flowers. Species and selections all self-sow freely if faded flowers are not removed. Moderate water.

L. x haageana. ORANGE CAMPION. Red, orange, salmon, or white flowers carried in clusters of two or three throughout summer. Stems clothed in green leaves reach 12 ft. high; plant grows 1 ft. wide. Dies down shortly after bloom. Mulch to protect against extreme heat or cold. Though a hybrid, it comes fairly true from seed. Regular water. 'Molten Lava' has vivid, orange-red blooms.

L. viscaria. GERMAN CATCHFLY. From Eurasia. Compact, low, evergreen clumps of grasslike leaves to 5 in. long. Pinkish purple, -in. flowers on 1- to 2-ft. stalks. 'Alba' has white blooms. Foot-high 'Splendens' bears magenta blossoms; 'Splendens Plena' ('Flore Pleno') is similar but has double flowers. Two deep red bloomers are 1-ft. 'Zulu' and 8-in. L. v. atropurpurea. 'Molten Lava' has vivid, orange-red blooms. Moderate to regular water.

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