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Silene chalcedonica

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Lychnis chalcedonica
Phonetic Spelling
sy-LEE-nee kalk-ee-DON-ee-kuh
Description

Maltese Cross grows best in full sun and in any good soil if provided with constant moisture. The blooming period is extended if faded flowers are removed. In rich soils, it may need to be staked to prevent flopping.

A number of hybrids are available, offering variation in plant height and flower color. The brilliant scarlet flowers of the Maltese Cross are very eye-catching in the garden.  To propagate, divide in the spring or fall or sow seeds.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#perennials#moist soil#well-drained soil#summer flowers#long bloom time#long lifespan#partial shade tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#perennials#moist soil#well-drained soil#summer flowers#long bloom time#long lifespan#partial shade tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Silene
    Species:
    chalcedonica
    Family:
    Caryophyllaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern Europe to Siberia and China
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 6 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 8 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3b, 3a, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    An ovoid capsule that has the 5 teeth at its opening and contains reddish-brown seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Dense heads composed of 10 to 50 individual 5-petaled flowers that are Maltese cross-shaped. They stand atop tall stems beginning in late spring or early summer and continuing for over 8 weeks or more. Individual flowers are 1 inch or less in size.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are an egg to lance-shaped with a rounded base and no stem.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits