Rose Campion, Maltese Cross

The genus consists of about 20 species that include both biennials and herbaceous perennials. Lychnis is Latin for "lamp" which may refer to the use of leaves as wicks in oil lamps or may apply to the bright colored flowers.

The genus resembles Silene but is distinguished by having 5 styles while Silene has 3. Also, its capsule opening has 5 teeth while those of Silene have 6.

 

PGC-P-Lychnis-chalcedonica-2010-10_4_1

Lychnis x arkwrlghtii  
L. chalcedonica Maltese Cross, Jerusalem Cross, Scarlet Lightning
L. coronaria Rose Campion,
Mullein Pink
L. flos-cuculi  
L. flos-jovis Flower of Jove
L. x haageana Haage Campion
L. viscaria German Catchfly
 

Species Hgt (in) Flower Color Inflorescence
L. x arkwrightii 18-24 Orange-scarlet Few
L. chalcedonica 24-36 Scarlet Many
L. coronaria 24-36 Rose Few
L. flos-cuculi 12-24 Deep rose Few
L. x haageana 10-18 Orange-scarlet Few
viscaria 12-18 Red Many

* Guides and Keys are from the book "Herbaceous Perennial Plants A Treatise on their Identification, Culture and Garden Attributes" by Dr Allan M. Armitage of the University of Georgia. Varsity Press, Athens, Georgia. 1989 ISBN 0-942375-00. More on Dr Armitage and his other books.

 

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