Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bloody Mary, Bloody William, Dusty Miller, Lychnis, Mullein Pinks, Rose Campion
Silene coronaria

Family: Caryophyllaceae (kar-ree-oh-fil-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Silene (sy-LEE-nee) (Info)
Species: coronaria (kor-oh-NAR-ee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Agrostemma coronaria
Synonym:Lychnis coronaria

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

105 members have or want this plant for trade.

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24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
Fuchsia (Red-Purple)
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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28 positives
5 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral rockgardner On Dec 25, 2014, rockgardner from Billerica, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Self-sows prolifically. Seedlings popped up as far as 20 feet away the following spring. If not managed carefully, could be a problem. I decided to remove them, too high maintenance for me.

Positive SecretMonkey On Apr 20, 2013, SecretMonkey from Salisbury, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Last year Mother Nature delivered this wonderful gift to me via bird poop into one of my zone 7b planters on the steps of my front porch, in the worst conditions of sun, heat and parched-ful-ness (is that a word?). Everything else in that planter has died from neglect but that Rose Campion has multiplied nicely though so far hasn't bloomed.
I wonder if I move it to a place that gets a bit more shade, it will bloom, or maybe the plant just doesn't bloom until it is over a year old, sort of like peonies. I hesitate to risk losing it by transplanting it.
I love the bright pink color and the soft furry, greeny grey leaves, and the fact that it multiplies gracefully and with dignity, as opposed to some plants that spread rudely and obnoxiously.

Positive Desirai On Mar 1, 2013, Desirai from Glencoe, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

It grows great here in north central Alabama. Comes back every year. Have not had any problems with it spreading while in the shade of a cedar tree.

Positive Domehomedee On Aug 23, 2011, Domehomedee from Arroyo Grande, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Here in 8b I had trouble with it reseeding to being invasive in my full sun flower garden. I moved it into the shade and it no longer reseeds. It still blooms in the shade and grows larger. This is a lovely plant, I'm glad I was able to get it under control.

Positive joylily514 On Jul 27, 2008, joylily514 from Katy, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Love this plant. Adds terrific color.

Positive Shelbygarden On May 18, 2007, Shelbygarden from Shelby, OH wrote:

This flower virtually appeared out of nowhere last summer - I didn't plant it - (we've lived here 3 years) in my shady garden. Blooms were brilliant. This year the original plant didn't return but I got two seedlings for which I am very happy. I hope they will bloom this year.

Positive SW_gardener On Feb 8, 2007, SW_gardener from (Zone 6a) wrote:

We've had this plant forever, came with the house when we moved in. It is a very prolific self seeder, but not in a weedy way. I find it grows everywhere from hot sun to dry shade and in between. If deadheaded it will flower much longer.

Positive Bellisgirl On Feb 7, 2007, Bellisgirl from Spokane, WA wrote:

Hi! Ive had this plant for about three years. Lovely magenta flowers and silver leaves. There are a ton of seedlings from it, but I have no problem just plucking up the unwanted ones. It grows as a biannual for me; but I have many of them, so some are always in bloom.

Positive Aylatheresa On Aug 7, 2006, Aylatheresa from Rumford, RI wrote:

I love this plant every late spring it bursts into this bright fuschia color that lasts thru august, I never need to proprigate it since it self-seeds. I always have two stages the first year plant looks like lambs ear, while the second year plant has tall stalks and flowers.

Positive Leehallfae On Jul 22, 2006, Leehallfae from Seattle, WA wrote:

I have the Magenta color and the pink/white variety. They produce great silver foliage and will sometimes bloom twice in one year.

Positive Gabrielle On Jan 16, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

These are wonderfully hardy plants that self-seed freely and grow anywhere. I suppose some would consider that invasive, but when you are trying to get something to grow on unimproved clay, it is a plus. Especially when they get walked on when they are small, and they still thrive! They arent difficult to get rid of when they seed where unwanted.

Light aids germination of seeds.

Blooms in June-July in my garden.

Positive zemerson On Oct 22, 2005, zemerson from Calvert County, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

It's a good thing these are nice looking plants because boy do they spread. My aunt has had these in her garden for years now... and she never even planted them. Every year they threaten to spread over the garden barrier and into the lawn :)

Positive CaptMicha On Jul 13, 2005, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is a fast grower and produces mass flushes of fuchsia flowers that contrast nicely with the silvery foliage.

In my zone 7, it's an evergreen and provides nice winter interest. This is the first year of flowers so I can't comment on it's invasive possibilities although I can say that a few transplanted seedlings turned into a large stand of rose campions.

Updated on 7/30/06:
This year there were plants everywhere from reseeding. However, my origional plant was planted out in the open so I don't have any hard to get at seedlings.

They're really easy to pop out of the soil with that forked weeding tool because they don't have an extensive root system.

Positive tiiuflora On Jun 30, 2005, tiiuflora from Hopewell Junction, NY wrote:

What a great performer - self-seeders rule in my garden.I have the magenta flowers. No one has mentioned that this plant is DEER-PROOF!!!!!! My plants are right in the middle of heavy deer traffic - the black-eyed susans are all nipped, so are the peony leaves but the rose campion is totally untouched. That makes this plant 'highly desirable' for me.

Positive bayouposte On Jun 9, 2005, bayouposte from Bossier City, LA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love the way the flourescent look of the magenta flowers on the silvery foliage. Puts on such a spectacular sow early when it can be really appreciated.

Positive PurplePansies On Jun 6, 2005, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

One of my favorite garden plants of all time. A MUST FOR EVERY GARDEN! Super easy to grow (in sun and pretty well drained soil .... not too much winter wet) .... Pretty flowers and gorgeous silvery foliage.... like lamb's ears but with those lovely magenta or white or pale flowers..... (no scent :( )..... Very easy to grow from seed. Blooms at a nice time to help fill in spring - summer gap.

Neutral pdxJules On Mar 26, 2005, pdxJules from Portland, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is clearly one of the easiest plants to make a new gardener feel like a success - so i take it to Swaps.

I prefer the Campion in shade - becuase the light foliage brightens up the area, the tall stems do not dry out as badly as in the sun - meaning LESS deadheading/trimming WORK - and it keeps on blooming for a longer period. Much easier. I got a White-flowered Campion in a trade,
and can share seed - and starts/ this plant acts as a perennial in the Pacific NW - even living thru week-long ice storms!

Positive walksaved On Aug 23, 2004, walksaved from Spokane, WA wrote:

Spokane has very dry, hot summers. When I bought this house a few years ago the landscaping had suffered years of neglect. There was one flower that had well survived the summer months of virtually no rain. I didn't know what it was at the time but the magenta flowers were striking. Yes, this Lychnis self sows but what a survivor. And those magenta flowers sure brighten things up. The wayward seedlings are unmistakable and a snap to pull.

Positive cindycat On Jun 12, 2004, cindycat from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

It's obviously a wide-ranging plant, since some of you are growing it in the Pacific Northwest, and I grow it in my dry, sandy part of Oklahoma. It's in a mixed-planting bed that gets full sun and sufficient water, then I've transplanted several pieces to a little drier location. A friend from western Arkansas gave me the start a few years ago. It's the bright fuchsia variety. I didn't know what it was until I was at a garden festival today and asked "Hey, what's that?" That's why I happened to find this nice website, after I Googled "Rose Campion."

Positive Piffka On Jun 2, 2004, Piffka from Gig Harbor, WA wrote:

For at least fifty years this plant has grown and self-sowed at our home on Puget Sound in Western Washington (the state!). It grew so happily I thought it was a native flower. Imagine my surprise last month when I saw it growing in the perennial gardens at George Washington's home, Mount Vernon in Virginia. Their gift shop sells seeds of Rose Campion (magenta color) as did the gift shop at Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello (pale pink color). No wonder it is called Heritage Plant.

A well-mannered plant, it is easy to pull out if it is in the wrong spot and will also willingly transplant. To keep them looking neat, I trim off the tall flower stems when they are spent.

Positive pungo On May 17, 2004, pungo from Norfolk, VA wrote:

Dug up 2 or 3 plants from my mother's yard and they have done very well and are increasing in number each year. I have the magenta ones. They are in full bloom now in mid-May in Norfolk, VA. They grew in my mother's yard for years and years. Does well in all kinds of weather. Handles lots of rain, needs little care. Pinching off dead flowers will extend the blooming time.

Positive Flit On Dec 31, 2003, Flit from Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have this growing successfully under a birch tree in a part of my yard with poor drainage, where many other plants don't do very well at all -- the soil is sort of clay and slimy there and I haven't done much to fix it, as the birch has very shallow roots so there's no hope of digging. It self-seeds profusely and returns every year. My variant has hot magenta blooms and is very striking.

I've convinced a few plants to grow in a small patch of very dry land that gets a lot of shade, too; the only other things that survive there are an exceptionally persistant cactus, a scrawny lavender, and some weeds or remnant groundcover I haven't managed to identify yet. It's out of easy hose reach so that patch pretty much only gets watered in the winter rains. I'm impressed with this plant's toughness.

Positive drmspkr On Aug 14, 2003, drmspkr wrote:

Rose Campion does very well on the west coast of Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada. We have an unbelievable amount of annual rainfall, we have gale and hurricane-force winds most of the winter and many plants just can't survive, even though it doesn't often get "cold". Rose Campion, also sometimes called "heritage plant" or "Rose mullein" grows well, spreads from root or seed, and in the past three years seems to have caught the fancy of increasing numbers of gardeners. This plant is sometimes thought to be "invasive" but if you have a vacant lot or some "trashed" area near your house this plant will work wonderfully well to cover the damage and help repair the soil.


Positive Ladyfern On Aug 7, 2003, Ladyfern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

Tolerates clay soil, drought, and a southwest exposure, and looks great in the process! What a great flower!

Positive bettylouise On Aug 2, 2003, bettylouise wrote:

I have what I've been told is Rose Campion, although the leaves are green, not silvery in color. I live in Homer, Alaska (zone?) and it is prolific, a hardy self-seeder, and drought resistant. I'm not sure if it is a perenial here, a biannual, or an annual. It took over one flower bed, so I'm in the process of clearing it from that spot and transferring it by transplanting and seeding to a rocky, poor soil spot, where it hopefully will take over.

Positive suncatcheracres On Jul 23, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I have grown this plant in both the Atlanta area (zone 7b) and now in North Central Florida (zone 8b), and so far it has survived our unusually wet summer, although I have lost it's lookalike "lambs ears" due to all the rain. "Rose campion" is considered an old Southern heirloom plant, and my original plants came from a fellow Master Gardener at a plant swap. It spreads readily, but so far not invasively. It blooms early, when its intense rose-purple color is most welcome, and although the flower is quite small, it really stands out against the intense greens of the early spring garden, and now the wet summer garden. It seems impervious to both pests and disease.

January 1, 2004: Our near 100 inches of rain this year finally got to my Rose Campion, and it started turning black from the constant heat and humidity early this Fall, so I transplanted my remaining three surviving plants to a much sunnier and drier spot, over the septic tank, where they are now flourishing and spreading in this mild Florida winter. I've noticed that my leaves are more green than silver too, as noted here by other gardeners. My three small plants came through out first frosts in the middle of December completely unharmed, and I even have some new baby plantlets, and I'm looking forward to another show of bright magenta flowers this coming Spring.

Positive sterhill On Apr 19, 2003, sterhill from Atlanta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

In the fall, you can take the overgrown rosettes and divide into dozens of plants. In Atlanta, I have found it very drought tolerant. I have not have too much trouble with it self seeding as some one else mentioned. And it has started blooming now - April 19th!

It makes a good show in the garden as the color is very bold and can be planted around bulbs to hide the yellowing foliage of daffies, blue bells, etc.

Positive Greenknee On Feb 12, 2003, Greenknee from Chantilly, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I collected this years ago from an abandoned homesite, took a few years to identify it. It is almost completely biennial here in zone 7(edge of 6). Reseeds everywhere. Plants in second year thrive, and if deadheaded rigorously, will bloom from early June into November! Silver foliage, rather leggy, but a good contrast in a sunny planter with petunias and vinca minor. Blossom color of the magenta is very intense. White plants are less frilled in foliage and weaker in growth habit.

Positive sammyrodg On Sep 1, 2002, sammyrodg from St.Catharines, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

Well, I am happy to know the name, it was given to me as I was in need of perennials last spring. It has bloomed a hot pink, I cut the dead flowers off and the second bloom is on now. It is in a contained area so should not have a problem of spreading out of control. Thanks Niagara area of Ont.

Positive BJT72 On Aug 17, 2002, BJT72 from Perrysburg, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:

Re-seeds A LOT, I really enjoy the contrast of the silvery foliage and the bright magenta flowers. This plant is very easy to care for.

Neutral djh On Feb 2, 2001, djh from Arlington, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

In my area (zone 7, Virginia), this plant self-sows prolifically, so beware! They come up in my lawn. I like the bright pink flowers, so I don't mind too much. I dig them up and move them into the border. But if you're a very neat-and-tidy gardener, you won't like this aspect.

Neutral lantana On Jan 4, 2001, lantana from (Zone 7a) wrote:

It grows in Heat Zones 7-1. Also known as Mullein Pink and Lampflower.

Neutral gardener_mick On Jan 1, 2001, gardener_mick from Wentworth, SD (Zone 4a) wrote:

Rose campion is a perennial in zones 3-9. It grows 2-3' tall and should be spaced 12-15" apart. Full sun to light shade is needed. It will tolerate dry soils, but prefers moist, slightly acidic, fertile, and very well drained. The flower colors come in magenta-rose, pink, or white and bloom late spring to early summer. The foliage is silvery green.
Cut back after first bloom to promote a second flowering.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Auburn, Alabama
Cherokee, Alabama
Gadsden, Alabama
Roanoke, Alabama
Sheffield, Alabama
Town Creek, Alabama
Trinity, Alabama
Batesville, Arkansas
Clarksville, Arkansas
Floral, Arkansas
Jacksonville, Arkansas
Morrilton, Arkansas
Alameda, California
Arroyo Grande, California
Canoga Park, California
Citrus Heights, California
Clayton, California
Fairfield, California
Long Beach, California
Los Angeles, California
Merced, California
Placerville, California
Rancho Palos Verdes, California
San Jose, California
Santa Ana, California
Santa Cruz, California
Vista, California
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Hartford, Connecticut
Old Lyme, Connecticut
Torrington, Connecticut
Westbrook, Connecticut
Wilmington, Delaware
Jacksonville, Florida
Old Town, Florida
Valparaiso, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Barnesville, Georgia
Braselton, Georgia
Cordele, Georgia
Dallas, Georgia
Lizella, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Villa Rica, Georgia
Champaign, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
Jacksonville, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Elkhart, Indiana
Fishers, Indiana
Greenville, Indiana
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Nashville, Indiana
Ewing, Kentucky
Sadieville, Kentucky
Bossier City, Louisiana
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Dover Foxcroft, Maine
Brookeville, Maryland
Cumberland, Maryland
Amesbury, Massachusetts
Billerica, Massachusetts
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Harwich, Massachusetts
Hyde Park, Massachusetts
Watertown, Massachusetts
Belmont, Michigan
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Ludington, Michigan
Waterford, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mathiston, Mississippi
Piedmont, Missouri
Greenfield, New Hampshire
Neptune, New Jersey
Roswell, New Mexico
Bellmore, New York
Binghamton, New York
Brooklyn, New York (2 reports)
Croton On Hudson, New York
Hilton, New York
Himrod, New York
Hopewell Junction, New York
Levittown, New York
West Kill, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
High Point, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Tuxedo, North Carolina
Wilsons Mills, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Belfield, North Dakota
Bucyrus, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Columbia Station, Ohio
Lewis Center, Ohio
Perrysburg, Ohio
Shelby, Ohio
Youngstown, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Bowmanville, Ontario
Albany, Oregon
Baker City, Oregon
Gold Hill, Oregon
Grants Pass, Oregon
Hillsboro, Oregon
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Mount Hood Parkdale, Oregon
Portland, Oregon (3 reports)
Salem, Oregon
Springfield, Oregon
Greencastle, Pennsylvania
Lansdowne, Pennsylvania
Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
Milford, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania (2 reports)
Wynnewood, Pennsylvania
Middletown, Rhode Island
Rumford, Rhode Island
Columbia, South Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
Florence, South Carolina
Greenville, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Pelzer, South Carolina
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Winnsboro, South Carolina
Burns, Tennessee
Lenoir City, Tennessee
Maryville, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Oneida, Tennessee
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Belton, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Tyler, Texas
Weatherford, Texas
Winnsboro, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah
Chantilly, Virginia
Clarksville, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Mc Lean, Virginia
Norfolk, Virginia
Orlean, Virginia
Palmyra, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
South Boston, Virginia
Staunton, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Walkerton, Virginia
Artondale, Washington
Bellevue, Washington
Bremerton, Washington
Chimacum, Washington
Duvall, Washington
Friday Harbor, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Lakewood, Washington
Lea Hill, Washington
North Bend, Washington
North Sultan, Washington
Seattle, Washington (4 reports)
Sequim, Washington
Spokane, Washington (2 reports)
Stanwood, Washington
Suquamish, Washington
Tacoma, Washington
Great Cacapon, West Virginia
Muscoda, Wisconsin
Pewaukee, Wisconsin

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