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LYCHNIS chalcedonica (SUMMER SPARKLE SERIES)

Image of Lychnis chalcedonica (SUMMER SPARKLE SERIES)

Family

Caryophyllaceae

Botanical Name

LYCHNIS chalcedonica( SUMMER SPARKLE SERIES)

Plant Common Name

Maltese Cross

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

There may be no perennial more attractive to hummingbirds than Maltese cross. The Summer Sparkle Series includes plants with globular clusters of scarlet, white or pink flowers atop tall, unbranched, hairy stems. These perennials native to European Russia have an upright, clumping habit with medium green to yellow-green, oval hairy leaves that form a basal rosette and also clasp the flower stems.

In early to midsummer, the stems on cultivars in the Summer Sparkle Series are topped by domed clusters of five-petaled flowers that are either scarlet red, white or pink. Each petal is deeply lobed, almost V-shaped. Both butterflies and hummingbirds will pay visits. Seeds, which are readily produced and scattered, gather in bronze-brown pods.

Grow Maltese cross in full sun to partial shade in average, well-drained garden soil. Excessive shade promotes leggy stems that may call for staking. This plant will reseed itself across the garden, and some gardeners treat it as an easy-to-grow annual. Perfect for the cottage garden or mixed border, the vivid flowers look particularly showy when positioned near silver-foliaged plants and when growing in massive sweeps. After flowering, cut back plants severely to coax a second flush of bloom weeks later.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Eastern Europe, Russia/Siberia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Red, Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Yellow Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes