Ragged robin is found growing naturally in damp meadows and woods in Europe, It has the typical, flat flower-heads of Lychnis, but these are loose, with only a few individual flowers. They may vary from purplish pink to white and are star-shaped, with deeply cut petals.
Plants are slightly hairy and upright or spreading. The blue-green leaves are lance-shaped at the base, becoming more rounded further up the stem. This is an understated, hardy perennial that you may like to grow in your own wild patch in the garden
A wonderful plant for the wildflower or wildlife garden, or for the drier edges of the bog garden.
Sow late winter/late spring and late summer/autumn.
Sow seeds on the surface of seed compost. “Just cover” the seeds as they need light to germinate. They will germinate in less than two weeks, ensure that they are kept moist at all times.
When large enough to handle, transplant seedlings into 7.5cm (3in) pots or trays and grow on. For Spring sowings, gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out after all risk of frost. Autumn sowings should be overwintered indoors, planting out the following spring
If deadheaded it will bloom again until August or even later.
Divide clumps in April if necessary. Cut down flower stems in autumn.
If planted in a meadow, don't cut the grass during the flowering months, allow it to self-seed.
Flowers Borders and Beds, Cottage / Informal Gardens.
Wildflower Gardens or Wildlife Gardens
Butterflies love this plant, especially white species of butterfly, the Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary and the Common Blue. It is the food plant of long-tongued bumblebees, and the Campion, Lychnis, Twin Spot Carpet and Marbled Clover moths.
Men would carry the plant in their pockets and success in love was determined by whether the plant thrived or not. By the 1600s girls carried the plant under their aprons, giving each plant the name of a local boy. The flower that opened first would bear the name of the boy she would marry or who wanted to marry her.
- Additional Information
Genus Lychnis (aka Silene) Species flos cuculi Cultivar Wildflower of Britain and Ireland Common Name Ragged Robin, (aka Silene flos cuculi)
Wildflower of Britain and Ireland
Other Common Names Cuckoo Flower, Meadow Spink, Polly Baker, Shaggy Jacks Other Language Names IR. Lus síoda Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Purple / Pink in May to July Height 45-60cm (18-24in) Spread 45-60cm (18-24in) Aspect West or South Facing. Exposed or Sheltered. Soil Moist soils - from Moist but Well-drained, to Boggy