Perennial Flower Information

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Lychnis - Rose Campion, Mullein Pink, Flower of Jove, Double Ragged Robin, Cuckoo Flower, Corn Cockle, Jerusalem Cross, Maltese Cross, Scarlet Lightning, German Catchfly

For the different parts of one's garden there are many good varieties of Lychnis. Two of these are known as Agrostemma. Double Ragged Robin and Cuckoo Flower are both common names of Agrostemma, Lynchis Flos-cuculi. This plant, with narrow, grass-like, grayish foliage, grows from 12 inches to 18 inches high, forming a tuft, and producing many small, delicate, tassel-like flowers in short sprays of rose or soft pink, which are very attractive to the bees of the neighborhood. Ragged Robin is in bloom continuously from May through August. The Mullein Pink, Dusty Miller or Rose Campion (L. or A. coronaria) is a very striking plant. The stems and leaves are a downy, silvery gray and the Pink-like flowers are a cerise scarlet. It grows 2 feet or 2 1/2 feet tall and is in bloom during July and August.

The Maltese Cross, Jerusalem Cross or Scarlet Lightning (L. chalcedonica) is a tall, loose growing plant with hairy stems and leaves. The foliage is similar to that of Sweet William and from each plant several straight, strong flower stems rise to a height of 12 feet or 3 feet and have immense heads of vermilion-scarlet flowers. This is one of the most brilliant of the old-fashioned flowers. There are whit flowered forms of this species. The German Catchfly (L. Viscaria) grows only about 12 inches high, has dense growing, evergreen foliage and fragrant deep red flowers. There is a sticky, viscid area below the flowers. L. Haageana has single, orange-scarlet flowers, shaped like those of Maltese Cross, and grows a foot tall. Most of these varieties have double forms which are really as interesting as the single ones.

UTILIZE. All of these varieties are used for cut flowers, in perennial borders and rock gardens. They make a fine bedding plant because the period of bloom is extended over the Summer months.

GENERAL. Lychnis is very easy of culture. The plants like sandy, well manured loam in full sunlight. Those varieties suitable for the rockeries grow well in dry soils. These are one of the best groups of plants for withstanding droughts.

PROPAGATION. The best method is by division of the plants in Spring, although all the varieties are easily grown from seed which blooms the second year after being sown.

 

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