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Herbaceous Perennial

Lychnis flos-cuculi
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

ragged robin

L. flos-cuculi is an upright perennial to 70cm, with branched stems bearing opposite, lance-shaped leaves and, in late spring and early summer, terminal clusters of star-shaped deep rose-pink flowers, each petal deeply cut into 4 narrow segments

Other common names
crow flower
crow soap
see morecuckoo
cuckoo flower
cuckoo gilliflower
cuckoo hood
Indian pink
marsh gilliflower
meadow lychnis
meadow pink
wild William
Synonyms
Silene flos-cuculi
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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
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Pink Red Green
Summer Pink Red Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

West–facing or East–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Caryophyllaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
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
Europe, Caucasus, Russia

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How to grow

Cultivation

Thrives in a moist, moderately fertile soil in sun or part shade. Well suited to moist meadows or wild gardens

Propagation

Propagate by seed, division or take basal cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Deadhead to prolong flowering

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free

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