Lychnis

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Lychnis

 

a genus of perennial herbaceous plants of the family Caryophyllaceae. The stems are erect, slightly branched, with large opposite leaves. The flowers are five-parted, in an apical cymose inflorescence. The corolla is red, brick-red, or pink; more rarely it is white or pale yellow. The fruit is a unilocular capsule. There are approximately ten species, distributed predominantly in the northern temperate zone of the Old World. Eight species are found in the USSR, mainly in Siberia and in the Far East, where they usually grow in meadows, along forest edges, and among low shrubbery. Many species of Lychnis are ornamentals. Maltese cross (Lychnis chalcedonica), which has long stems and dense, bright inflorescences, is widely cultivated. L. fulgens and its garden hybrids, which have very large flowers gathered in loose inflorescences, are also widely cultivated. The genus Coronaria is often united with the genus Lychnis.