Lychnis coronaria
Common Name: catchfly 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Native Range: Southeastern Europe
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: Rose magenta
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers moist soil, but will tolerate poor soils with some dryness. Soils must drain well in winter. Consider raised plantings in climates with little snow cover. Best silver foliage color usually occurs in drier soils. A short-lived perennial that may be best grown as a biennial or annual. Freely self-seeds. Deadheading flowers from plant immediately after bloom will prevent any unwanted self-seeding.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Lychnis coronaria, commonly called rose campion, is a clump-forming perennial which is perhaps grown as much for its basal clumps of ovate, densely woolly, silver-gray leaves (to 5" long) as for its 5-petaled, vivid rose magenta flowers (to 1" diameter). Flowers bloom profusely on smaller-leafed, gray stems rising 2-3' tall. Lengthy late spring to early summer bloom period.

Genus name comes from the classical name said to be derived from the Greek word lychnos meaning a lamp possibly referring to the ancient use of leaves of a woolly species for wicks.

Specific epithet means used for garlands or pertaining to garlands.


No serious insect or disease problems.


This perennial is grown as much for its foliage as for its intense flowers. Leaves and flowers provide excellent color and contrast to perennial borders and beds. Interesting effect as a mass planting. If flower stems are cut back after bloom, the foliage will serve as an interesting ground cover (in somewhat the same manner as stachys) for the remainder of the growing season.