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Ragged Robin Lychnis flos-cuculi


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Ragged Robin
credit: Tico/CCSA

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Family: Caryophyllaceae, Carnation view all from this family

Description Numerous flower stems, rose-colored flowers with petals like stag horns, rise from a rosette of low growing foliage.
Habit: introduced pernnial herb; stems rough, forking at top; may form large stands.
Height: 8-36 in (20-90 cm)
Leaf: in basal rosette, spatulate, stalked, 2-3 in (50-75 mm) long; on stem, opposite, stalkless, linear-lanceolate, pointed, in 4-5 pairs, becoming smaller above.
Flower: pink to purple (rarely white), 5-parted, 3/4-1 in (12-25 mm) wide; petals deeply divided into 4 long, narrow, somewhat ragged lobes, the middle 2 lobes larger; held in terminal cluster.
Fruit: small spherical capsule, 0.25-0.4 in (6-10 mm) wide; 5 teeth when open.

Flower May to September.

Habitat Wet meadows, peat bogs, wetlands, roadsides, ditches, stream banks, wet forest; also cultivated as an ornamental.

Range Native to Europe, introduced as an ornamental, escaped and naturalized in northeast North America and parts of the West: from Quebec south to Virginia, northwest to Ohio, Wisconsin and Ontario; also found in Washington and Montana; not reported in Delaware, West Virginia or Michigan.

Discussion Also known as cuckoo flower. The latin name Silene flos-cuculi is also used. Considered weedy or invasive in some areas; banned in Connecticut.