Lychnis Viscaria or simply Viscaria from the family Caryophyllaceae is a gem of a flowering plant that grows on cliffs and rocky places.
It is more commonly known as the sticky catchfly or the German Catchfly. A name derived from observing the stickiness of its stem.

This upright perennial can grow up to 60 cm in height, preferring well drained soil and can be germinated from its seed at room temperature.

Besides having beautiful purple-red to pink flowers in spring, this plant is one of my favourites because it is known to increase disease resistance in surrounding plants and not only that but it has a positive effect on the growth of other plants too. This is due to the high amount of brassinosteroids contained in this plant.
Extracts of this plant may be sought but I believe it would be much more rewarding to have the plant itself in your garden.

I’ve also found that this plant has a designated meaning in the famed Victorian Language of Flowers and can be used to pose the question ‘will you dance with me?

Sites visited:
Journal of Ecology 1995 p 1039-1059
Dig the Dirt
Robs Plants

Lych"nis (?), n. [L., a kind of red flower, Gr. lychni`s; cf. ly`chnos a lamp.] Bot.

A genus of Old World plants belonging to the Pink family (Caryophyllaceae). Most of the species have brilliantly colored flowers and cottony leaves, which may have anciently answered as wicks for lamps. The botanical name is in common use for the garden species. The corn cockle (Lychnis Githago) is a common weed in wheat fields.


© Webster 1913.

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