Family: Caryophyllaceae
Common Name: Campion, Catchfly

Widely distributed throughout temperate and cold zones of the northern hemisphere, there are around 20 species of these five-petalled biennials and herbaceous perennials, mostly with red flowers. They are grown in mixed bor­ders and rock gardens.


L. chalcedonica, Maltese cross, a lovely perennial with clusters of bright scarlet flowers, grows to 90 cm (36 in).

L. coronaria, rose cam-pion, from south-east Europe, grows to about 1 m (3 ft), with magenta flowers. There is also a white-flowered form, 'Alba'.

L. flos-jovis, flower of Jove, is an erect perennial, to 1 m (3 ft), with pink or red flowers.

L. viscaria, catchfly, reaches about 45 cm (18 in) and has deep green leaves and sticky stems topped with pink-purple flowers. There are numerous culti­vars available, some with double flowers.


Easily grown in most well-drained garden soils, Lychnis is tougher than many herbaceous perennials and can tolerate both dry conditions and frost. Propagate from seed; the perennial species can be divided.


Zone 4.

Lychee      Lycopodium