LYCHNIS chalcedonica (Maltese Cross) is a herbaceous perennial plant known for its striking red flowers. Maltese Cross is a herbaceous perennial, meaning it lives for multiple years. It belongs to the Caryophyllaceae family, which includes carnations and pinks.
Maltese Cross forms clumps of upright stems that can reach heights of 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm). The plant produces lance-shaped, dark green leaves that are opposite or whorled along the stem. The flowers are the highlight of this plant, with clusters of bright red, star-shaped blooms. Each flower has five petals, giving it a cross-like appearance and inspiring the common name "Maltese Cross."
The flower typically blooms in the summer, generally between June and July. The blooming period may vary depending on the local climate and growing conditions. It is valued for its vibrant red flowers, which make it a popular choice for adding a bold splash of color to borders, cottage gardens, and mixed perennial beds. It also attracts pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, with its nectar-rich blooms.
Maltese Cross thrives in full sun to partial shade. It prefers well-draining soil and can tolerate various soil types, including loamy or sandy soils. It is adaptable to a range of climatic conditions but generally prefers moderate temperatures.
Maltese Cross is usually grown from seeds or propagated through division. The seeds can be sown directly in the garden in the spring or fall. The plant can also be divided in early spring or early fall to create new plants. Once established, Maltese Cross is relatively low-maintenance and does not require frequent watering. However, it benefits from regular watering during dry periods.
Caution: It is important to note that all parts of Maltese Cross, including the leaves and stems, are toxic if ingested. Therefore, it should be planted away from areas where children or pets may come into contact with the plant.
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Scientific Name: Lychnis Chalcedonica
Common Name: Maltese Cross
Plant Type: Perennial
Family: Lychnis – Companions
Height: 24-48 "
Spread: 20-22 "
Habitat: Grassy Meadows, River valley, Open woodland, Woodland valley
Exposure: Full Sun/Partial Sun
Blooming Season: Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Attracts: Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Resistant: Deer and Rabbit Resistant
Maintenance: Low maintenance and easy to grow
Flower Color: Red, White, Pink
Water Requirement: Average
Soil Type: Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Uses: Beds and Borders, Coastal Gardens, Informal and cottage