Lychnis chalcedonica L.
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Lychnis chalcedonica image
Perennial herb 30 cm - 1 m tall Stem: upright, unbranched (rarely branched), and hairy. Leaves: (stem) opposite, ten- to twenty- paired, 5 - 12 cm long, 2 - 5 cm wide, lance-shaped to egg- lance-shaped with a pointed tip, small-toothed, sometimes sparsely hairy. Basal leaves spatula- to lance-shaped. Inflorescence: a terminal, dense, head-like cluster (dichasium) of ten to fifty flowers. Flowers: short-stalked, orangish red, 1.5 - 2 cm wide. Stamens ten. Styles five. Sepals: forming a cylindrical tube (calyx). Calyx 1 - 1.7 cm long, 10-veined, sparsely hairy on veins, with five short teeth. Petals: five, orangish red, 7 - 9 mm long, broadly reverse egg-shaped, narrowly clawed, deeply two-lobed. Fruit: a dehiscent capsule (opening by five teeth), 8 - 10 mm long, egg-shaped. Seeds numerous, dark reddish brown, about 1 mm long, triangular to kidney-shaped.

Similar species: The similar Lychnis coronaria differs by having woolly herbage.

Flowering: June to September

Habitat and ecology: Introduced from Eurasia. Sometimes grown as an ornamental. A rare escape from cultivation. Has been found growing in a mesic area.

Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native

Etymology: Lychnis comes from the Greek word lychnos, meaning lamp, referring to the flame colored flowers. Chalcedonica means "of or from Chalcedon, Turkey (now called Kadikoy)."

Author: The Morton Arboretum

Perennial, 3-6 dm; stem hirsute; basal lvs spatulate or oblanceolate to lanceolate; cauline lvs 10-20 pairs, lanceolate or lance-ovate, 5-12 × 2-5 cm, acute, sparsely hairy or glabrate, serrulate-ciliate; infl terminal, Ā±capitate; fls numerous, red (white); cal 12-17 mm at maturity, the 10 coarse ribs strigose-hirsute, the lobes 2.5-3.5 mm; pet 14-18 mm, the claw ciliate, the appendages tubular, 2-3 mm, the blade 7-9 mm, deeply bilobed; ovary on a stipe 4-6 mm; fr 1 cm; 2n=24, 48. Native of Asia, occasionally escaped from cult. in our range. June-Sept.

Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.

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