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Useful Temperate Plants

Silene flos-cuculi

(L.) Greuter & Burdet

Caryophyllaceae


We are following the treatment in 'Plants of the World online' (http://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:911444-1). Some other treatments, such as the Flora of China[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
], maintain this species in the genus Lychnis (as Lychnis flos-cuculi L.).

+ Synonyms

Agrostemma flos-cuculi (L.) G.Don

Agrostemma lusitanicum G.Don

Coccyganthe flos-cuculi (L.) Rchb.

Coccyganthe pratensis Schur

Coronaria flos-cuculi (L.) A.Braun

Floscuculi pratense Opiz

Lychnis coccugosantha St.-Lag.

Lychnis cyrillii Richt. ex Rchb.

Lychnis flos-cuculi L.

Lychnis laciniata Lam.

Lychnis laciniflora Stokes

Lychnis lusitanica Mill.

Lychnis plumaria Gray

Lychnis quadridentata Lucé

Silene cuculi E.H.L.Krause

Common Name: Ragged Robin

No Image.

General Information

Silene flos-cuculi is a herbaceous perennial plant that can grow up to 60cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a soap. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

Europe, including Britain, from Norway south and east Spain, Siberia and the Caucasus.

Habitat

Damp meadows, marshes, fens and wet woods, avoiding acid soils[
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
].

Properties

HabitPerennial
Height0.60 m
PollinatorsBees, Lepidoptera
Cultivation StatusWild

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
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
]. It prefers a sunny position[
111
Title
Popular Hardy Perennials.
Publication
 
Author
Sanders. T. W.
Publisher
Collingridge
Year
1926
ISBN
-
Description
A fairly wide range of perennial plants that can be grown in Britain and how to grow them.
].
Plants succeed in damp woodlands or damp meadows[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
At least one named form has been selected for its ornamental value[
187
Title
Perennials. Volumes 1 and 2.
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1991
ISBN
0-330-30936-9
Description
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

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
Title
Companion Planting for Successful Gardening.
Publication
 
Author
Riotte. L.
Publisher
Garden Way, Vermont, USA.
Year
1978
ISBN
0-88266-064-0
Description
Fairly good.
]. Do not overboil the roots because this will break down the saponins[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

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
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. 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.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2020-07-06. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Silene+flos-cuculi>

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