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perennial

Maltese Cross

Lychnis chalcedonica

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Maltese Cross (Lychnis chalcedonica) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Lychnis chalcedonica flowers

Lychnis chalcedonica flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  28 inches

Flower Height:  4 feet

Spacing:  18 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  2a

Ornamental Features

Maltese Cross has masses of beautiful clusters of scarlet star-shaped flowers at the ends of the stems in early summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its pointy leaves remain dark green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Maltese Cross is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other garden plants with finer foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Maltese Cross is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Maltese Cross will grow to be about 28 inches tall at maturity extending to 4 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 24 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 18 inches apart. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 15 years.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Garden 
Applications
Flowers  Texture  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features