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Silene chalcedonica

Silene chalcedonica
Maltese cross
Synonym(s) Lychnis chalcedonica
Common name Maltese cross
Family caryophyllaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z4-8)
Flowers red (May-June)
Size 3'
Light sun-part shade
Cultural notes ordinary garden soil
From seed Easy, start at room temperature
detailed seed-starting info below
Seed ripensmid-July

In early spring, these plants make oh-so-neat clumps – but come late spring, the flower stalks zoom upward, brighten up the garden with bright red flower clusters, and all too often, flop about a bit for a somewhat untidy appearance. We cut them down right after the flowers fade, after which they go back to being appropriately tidy. I still think of this as Lychnis chalcedonica, but the botanists have decided otherwise.

Silene chalcedonica
knobby kidney-shaped seed

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

Seed for this plant is included on my seed trade list

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '07 garden. Baggy 70F (55%G, 8-14d)
  2. Same seed as above. Baggy 70F (90%G, 4-9d)
  3. Seed from '06 garden. Baggy 70F (93%G, 8-10d)
  4. Seed from '12 garden. Baggy 70F (90+%G, 5-7d)
  5. Seed from '13 garden. Baggy 70F (27+%G, 7-10d)

I must have done something wrong in 2008 and 2014...

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