This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol2", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
This is the best-known species, 2-3 ft. high, having dense heads of scarlet flowers in summer. It is easily raised by seeds and by division in autumn or spring, and grows in any good garden soil. The trade is chiefly done in "roots" in spring, but it also sells as cut to a certain extent in summer. There is a white-flowered form and a double-flowered scarlet form.
L. Coeli-rosa (also known as Agrostemma) is popularly known as the Rose of Heaven. It is a biennial species about 1 ft. high, from the Levant, and has deep rosy-purple flowers in summer. The seeds should be sown in April and May each year to produce good plants for selling the following spring.
L. coronaria (Agrostemma) grows 2-3 ft. high, and has crimson-red flowers and leaves covered with a whitish woolly down. It may be raised in the same way as the Rose of Heaven.
L. Haageana, 1-2 ft., is a fine hybrid with bright-scarlet flowers 2 in. or more across; and L. oculata, or Viscaria oculata, is a lovely Algerian annual, 1-2 ft. high, having slender erect stems, narrow flax-like leaves, and a great profusion of pinkish-purple flowers in summer. There are several fine varieties like cardinalis, bright crimson purple; coerulea, bluish, like the Common Flax; alba, white; Dunnetti, rose; and others all useful for bedding in early summer.
Fig. 222. - Lychnis chalcedonica.
L. viscaria is a pretty evergreen plant with clammy stems, grass-like leaves, and red-purple flowers. The double - flowered form (flore pleno), with rose-pink bloom, is the best garden plant; but there are white and other forms, all easily grown.
Fig. 223. - Lychnis Ilaageana.