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Campion

Lychnis

Grown as much for its silver-gray foliage as for its neon-color flowers, campion provides excellent color and contrast in perennial borders and beds. Once the flowers bloom in late spring to early summer, the stems can be cut back and the foliage forms a groundcover for the remainder of the growing season. Campion is also at home in rock gardens, wildflower meadows, and cottage gardens.

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Light:

Part Sun, Sun

Type:

Height:

From 6 inches to 3 feet

Width:

From 1 to 2 feet

Flower Color:

Foliage Color:

Seasonal Features:

Zones:

3-8

Colorful Combinations

Campion has neon-color blossoms in magentas, oranges, and reds as well as white. Some of the pink varieties are so intense that the flowers seem to glow. The bright and showy blossoms develop singularly, in pairs, or in clusters. These showy flowers are vibrant but short-lived; each bloom lasts just a day. The flowers may be sparse the first year but should become prolific each subsequent year as the plants bulk up in size. Some varieties of campion have dark green foliage instead of the typical silver-gray. Campion seeds itself freely about the garden, so you may want to control its spread by deadheading flowers immediately after they bloom.

Try more of our favorite silver-leaf plants in your garden.

Campion Care Must-Knows

Campion prefers moist soil but can handle average, medium, and well-drained soils. During extended dry periods, campion will benefit from the occasional supplemental watering. Campion does require soil that will drain well in winter as too much moisture causes root rot. While campion thrives in full sun, it can tolerate partial shade but will produce fewer blooms. Campion tends to be fairly short-lived and in some areas it is grown as a biennial or annual. Most varieties flourish in areas with cooler summers.

In late fall or early winter, prune campion by cutting back to one-third of its original size. In spring, you can thin seedlings and move them to new areas of your garden to control the spread of their habit.

More Varieties of Campion

'Alba' campion

This variety of Lychnis coronaria is a white flowered variety with crisp white blooms over silvery grey foliage. Zones 3-8.

'Lumina Bronze Leaf Red' campion

Lychnis x haageana  is a short-lived perennial with bright red flowers over contrasting bronze foliage. It grows 1 foot tall. Zones 4-8.

'Maltese Cross' campion

Lychnis chalcedonica  bears round clusters of bright scarlet-orange flowers atop leafy stems. Flowers may also be white or pink, and some are double. Pairs of rough lance-shape leaves clasp the 3-foot-tall stems. Self-seeds freely. Zones 3-8.

'Ragged Robin' campion

Lychnis flos-cuculi makes basal rosettes of grassy grayish foliage. In summer, loose clusters of deeply cut rosy-lavender flowers bloom, giving a ragged effect. Ragged robin needs damp soil and is effective in wild gardens. It may reach 2 feet tall. Zones 3-7.

'Rose' campion

This variety of Lychnis coronaria  has woolly silver leaves in brilliant contrast to its 1-inch screaming magenta flowers. This short-lived perennial seeds itself freely. It may reach 3 feet tall. Zones 3-8

Plant Campion With:

Daylily
Daylilies are so easy to grow you'll often find them growing in ditches and fields, escapees from gardens. And yet they look so delicate, producing glorious trumpet-shape blooms in myriad colors. In fact, there are some 50,000 named hybrid cultivars in a range of flower sizes (the minis are very popular), forms, and plant heights. Some are fragrant.The flowers are borne on leafless stems. Although each bloom lasts but a single day, superior cultivars carry numerous buds on each scape so bloom time is long, especially if you deadhead daily. The strappy foliage may be evergreen or deciduous.Shown above: 'Little Grapette' daylily
Salvia
There are hundreds of different types of salvias, commonly called sage, but they all tend to share beautiful, tall flower spikes and attractive, often gray-green leaves. Countless sages (including the herb used in cooking) are available to decorate ornamental gardens, and new selections appear annually. They are valued for their very long season of bloom, right up until frost. Not all not hardy in cold climates, but they are easy to grow as annuals. On square stems, clothed with often-aromatic leaves, sages carry dense or loose spires of tubular flowers in bright blues, violets, yellow, pinks, and red that mix well with other perennials in beds and borders. Provide full sun or very light shade, in well-drained average soil.
Shasta daisy
Easy, always fresh, and always eye-catching, Shasta daisy is a longtime favorite. All cultivars produce white daisy flowers in various degrees of doubleness and size. The sturdy stems and long vase life make the flowers unbeatable for cutting. Shasta daisy thrives in well-drained, not overly rich soil. Taller sorts may need staking.
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