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Herbaceous Perennial

Lychnis chalcedonica
  • RHS AGM

Maltese cross

L. chalcedonica 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
see morecross 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
Synonyms
Lychnis chalcedonica 'Red Cross'
Lychnis chalcedonica scarlet-flowered

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Orange Red Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Caryophyllaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

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

Name status

Correct

Plant range
European Russia

How to grow

Cultivation

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

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
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Deadhead to prolong flowering then cut down in the autumn

Pests

May be attacked by aphids and slugs

Diseases

Generally disease free

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