LYCHNIS Campion

The Campions are sun-lovers bearing flowers which are generally red or pink … and there is hardly any other common feature which links together the various species grown as garden perennials. Although differing markedly in appearance, they do have similar cultural requirements. Stake the stems on exposed sites and water copiously in dry weather. Dead-head to prolong the flowering display and cut down the stems to ground level in autumn.

VARIETIES: The best Campion to grow is L. chalcedonica (Jerusalem Cross) – height 3 ft. Spacing 1.5 ft.

Flowering period: June-August. Large heads of bright red flowers are borne on long leafy stems. The flowers of L. coronaria (Rose Campion) are borne in loose sprays above the grey foliage – it grows about 1 n ft high and both magenta and white varieties are available. L. flos-jovis (Flower of Jove) produces rose-coloured flowers above the silvery foliage in June and July; L. viscaria ‘Splendens Plena’ (1.5 ft) bears clusters of double pink flowers above the sticky leaves in early summer.

SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained garden soil will do – thrives best in full sun.

PROPAGATION: Sow seeds under glass in spring or divide clumps in autumn.

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