Lychnis coronaria alba is an erect biennial or short-lived perennial with silvery-grey felted leaves and lax sprays of long-stalked, white flowers 3cm (1¼ in) across in late summer.
Rosettes of soft silver-grey woolly foliage with stems that are 30 to 40cm (12 to16in) high make Lychnis coronaria a very useful plant in the garden. Easily grown in a sunny, well drained position, Rose Campion tends to be short lived, but it self seeds prolifically to provide a fresh supply.
Lychnis can be grown as a border plant or as part of a mixed perennial display. With a big showy display that maintains interest in the border at a time when many other plants are flagging.
It is an all round tough plant suitable for problem areas. It tolerates full sun and sandy, drought-prone soils but produces the best leaf colour in dry soil. Suitable for exposed coastal planting, this is a superb plant for a sunny border.
Lychnis coronaria alba was awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in 1993.
Sow in late winter to late spring or in late summer to autumn at temperatures around 20 to 24°C (68 to 70°F). Sow the seeds into trays, cells or pots containing good quality seed compost.
Sow on the surface and do not cover, as light aids germination of seeds. Water from the base of the tray.
Place in a propagator or warm place, ideally at 20 to 24°C (68-70°F). Keep the compost moist but not wet at all times. Germination 21 to 30 days.
Prick out each seedling as it becomes large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots or trays. Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out, space 15cm (6in) apart.
Grow in any moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Overwatering or prolonged summer rain in heavy ground may cause rotting. Grows best in full sunlight but will tolerate shade for part of the day.
Apply a generous 5 to 7cm (2 to 3in) mulch of well-rotted compost around the base of the plant in early-spring. A little complete plant food may be given in early spring.
It is worth keeping in mind that these plants are short lived perennials or biennial, so although they usually self-seed freely, the plant will only live for a couple of years.
If you do not want plants to self seed deadhead as the flowers fade. This should also prolong blooming. Cut back the faded flowerheads in late autumn after they have released their seed.
City/Courtyard Gardens, Coastal, Cottage/Informal Garden, Flowers Borders and Beds, Low Maintenance, Patio/Container Plants or Prairie Planting
Lychnis coronaria is native to Asia and Europe. It is a species of flowering plant in the carnation family, Caryophyllaceae.
The genus name Lychnis is taken from the from the Greek lychnos for "lamp’, in reference to its historic use as a lamp wick.
The species name coronaria means ‘used for’ or ‘belonging to garlands’
In many places of the world is also referred to as Silene coronaria.
Common names include Dusty Miller (this also refers to Centaurea cineraria and Senecio cineraria), Mullein-pink, Rose Campion, and Bloody William.
‘alba’ simply means white, referring to the colour of the flowers.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 100mg Average Seed Count 100 Seeds Genus Lychnis Species coronaria Cultivar Alba Synonym Agrostemma coronaria, Silene coronaria Common Name Dusty Miller, Silene coronaria Other Common Names Bloody Mary Bloody William Dusty Miller Mullein Pinks Rose Campion, Catchfly Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Mid to Late Summer Foliage Grey/Silver (Semi Evergreen) Height 1m (3ft) in 1-2 years Spread 50cm (1.5ft) Position Full Sun Aspect East, West or South facing. Exposed or Sheltered. Time to Sow Late winter/late spring and late summer/autumn at around 20-24°C (68-70°F) Germination 21 to 30 days. Notes often grown as a biennial