Maltese Cross - Lychnis + Silene

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LYCHNIS (Maltese Cross) Zone 3-4 This is a rugged and easy perennial for any sunny border. Excellent for cutting. In rich soils this may need to be staked to prevent flopping. Reliable and long lived. Clumps may be easily divided in spring or fall. Flowers are attractive to butterflies

Chalcedonica Plants form an upright clump of bright green leaves, with taller stems in summer that bear large clusters of scarlet-orange flowers. Scarlet-orange Green June-August 36” high 18” spread

Rose campion is one of about 20 species of perennials and biennials in the genus Lychnis. This group in the pink family (Caryophyllaceae) is closely related to – and is sometimes included in – the genus Silene. The genus Lychnis, from the northern temperate zone, is quite variable, but all species have vividly-colored flowers. The genus name, used by Theophrastus from the Greek work lychnos which means “lamp”, is thought to refer to the use of the woolly leaves as lamp wicks in ancient times. The common name of rose campion supposedly comes from the use of its flowers to make garlands for athletic champions.


Silenes are a varied group of plants. They come in a wide range of heights, so some are suitable for rockeries, while taller varieties do well in borders

uniflora Druett’s Variegated Deep green leaves with wide, creamy white margins; white pinwheel flowers White Green/White April-June. 3-6” high 6-9” spread