This species from the Levant is one of the gems
among annuals and worthy of a place in any garden.
The plant grows about twelve inches high, with
linear leaves and solitary, terminal flowers,
an inch across, of glowing rose and purple.
Of the various forms
var. alba and candida, with white flowers;
var. caerulea, blue;
var. fimbriata, fringed rosy purple;
var. cardinalis, crimson; var. kermesina, reddish-purple;
var. oculata, rose with purple eye,
are most attractive.
From this last species has originated varieties
of garden origin, sometimes listed as Viscaria
oculata with blue, carmine, white, scarlet and
Lychnis githago (syn. Agrostemma githago) reaches two
feet or more and is the native Corn Cockle of
British cornfields with purplish-red flowers and
long leafy sepals.
The seed should be sown in April on well-drained
ground in sunny positions where the plants are
to bloom, thinning to a few inches apart when
the seedlings are an inch high.
Propagation is from seed.
The flowering season is from midsummer to Michaelmas.
See Also : Lychnis