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Ragged Robin

       

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 Ragged Robin
Lychnis flos-cuculi

Other Names:  Batchelor's Buttons, Cuckoo Flower, Thunder Flower
Distribution:  A native British wild flower, which is fairly common throughout Britain.
Habitat:  Damp woodland, marshes and wet meadows.
Description:  Graceful plant up to 60cms tall with sprays of rose red flowers from May to July which have ragged, 4 deeply cleft petals. 
Wildlife:  Ragged Robin attracts butterflies and is often pollinated by the green-veined white.
Other Notes:   Along with Columbine, Marsh Buttercup and Common Buttercups, this flower was given the name of Batchelor's Buttons by West Country girls in the 16th century who used to pick several of these flowers at a time and give each a local boys' name.  Whichever flower opened first was said to identify who the girl would marry.  The name Thunder Flower derived from the belief that if they picked the flower, thunder and lightning would occur.

Sowing Instructions for Seeds: All year round, but March to early May or August to September give best results. Sow seeds in a good quality multi-purpose compost either in a greenhouse, cold frame or outside. Germination can take from 10 days to 3 months depending on temperature. When large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots. Plant out into final position from late spring onwards. Planting in autumn will produce slightly earlier flowering than a spring sowing.

Our plants and seeds are of native British origin.