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Lychnis flos-cuculi - L.                
                 
Common Name Ragged Robin
Family Caryophyllaceae
Synonyms Coronaria flos-cuculi.
Known Hazards This plant contains saponins[20]. Although fairly toxic, these substances are poorly absorbed by the body, most passing straight through without any harm. Saponins can be found in a number of common foods such as some beans. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].
Habitats Damp meadows, marshes, fens and wet woods, avoiding acid soils[17].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Norway south and east Spain, Siberia and the Caucasus.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Lychnis flos-cuculi is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower from May to September, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera.

USDA hardiness zone : 5-9


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

Lychnis flos-cuculi Ragged Robin


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Hugo.arg
Lychnis flos-cuculi Ragged Robin
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fabelfroh
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Meadow; Bog Garden;
Edible Uses                                         
None known
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known
Other Uses
Soap.

The root contains saponins, a soap substitute that can be used for washing clothes, hair etc. It is extracted by boiling the roots in water[20]. Do not overboil the roots because this will break down the saponins[K].
Cultivation details                                         
An easily grown plant, succeeding in ordinary garden soil so long as it is moist, and also doing well in a bog garden[1]. It prefers a sunny position[111]. Plants succeed in damp woodlands or damp meadows[200]. At least one named form has been selected for its ornamental value[187].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. The seed can also be sown in situ in spring or early autumn though this requires more seed. Division in spring or autumn[200]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
17200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[17]Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles.
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
[20]Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening.
Fairly good.
[111]Sanders. T. W. Popular Hardy Perennials.
A fairly wide range of perennial plants that can be grown in Britain and how to grow them.
[187]Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2.
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Readers comment                                         
 
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Subject : Lychnis flos-cuculi  
             

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