A relative of Dianthus, the genus name of this low maintenance, easy-to-grow perennial comes from the Greek word lychos, meaning “lamp,” and it is clearly an attempt to describe the light that comes from the splendid-for-cutting flower clusters that can brighten any garden space.
Narrow, almost grasslike, green and often evergreen leaves form neat rosettes, while sticky stems earn the strange common name of “Catchfly.” Tolerant of poor soil and dry conditions, Lychnis captures plenty of attention when placed front and center along a pathway, in a crevice or atop a wall.
Soft as flannel, silver washed and wooly, the short petioled gray-green foliage crafts a stylish basal rosette that persists through the winter and beckons a touch each time we pass by. Wide branching stems clad in paired leaves wave quantities of solitary, 1 to 2 in. wheel-shaped blooms illuminated in pure white hues. Never fretting about poor dry soils and sometimes short-lived but readily reseeding, this composed southeast european native can be massed in the border for a superb pearly-hued punch with Phlox ‘David’s Lavender’ or slipped into the rockery.
Blooms July – September.
Size: 2' 0" high x 18" wide.
Hardy to zone 4.
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