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Rose Campion

Lychnis coronaria

The species rose campion, also called rose campy, is a native of Europe. It was being cultivated in English gardens by the 17th century (including cultivating double forms) and in American gardens by the 1700s. According to Denise Adams, the first known mention of the rose campion by an American source is in Thomas Jefferson's garden book.1 Jefferson recorded "Lychnis in bloom" at his boyhood home, Shadwell, in 1767.2 Three color forms were listed in Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon's broadside catalog in 1804, including a bi-colored form called "Painted Lady." Jefferson received seed of "Lychnis" from McMahon in 1807.3

The rose campion is a hardy, early summer flowering biennial or short-lived perennial with brilliant, magenta-colored flowers and contrasting thick, fuzzy, gray-green foliage.

Primary Source References

1807 November 9. (Ann Cary Randolph to Jefferson). "Before I left Monticello they had increased so much as to fill the beds quite full ... Lychnis ... failed ...."4

Further Sources

Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Rose Campion.
Growth Type: 
Perennial
Color(s): 
Reds, Purple, Pink, White
Hardiness Zones: 
Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8
Location at Monticello: 
West Lawn
Planting Conditions: 
Full Sun
Blooming History: 
May 25, 2001 to August 17, 2001May 20, 2002 to July 12, 2002May 23, 2003 to July 25, 2003May 25, 2004 to July 19, 2004May 27, 2005 to July 20, 2005May 24, 2006 to August 7, 2006May 22, 2007 to July 20, 2007May 28, 2008 to July 25, 2008May 29, 2009 to September 1, 2009May 10, 2010 to September 1, 2010May 7, 2011 to August 8, 2011May 3, 2012 to July 20, 2012May 31, 2013 to July 19, 2013June 5, 2014 to July 2, 2014May 18, 2015 to June 24, 2015June 3, 2016 to July 20, 2016May 18, 2017 to June 21, 2017May 23, 2018 to August 9, 2018May 13, 2019

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