From a furry gray-green rosette comes these shooting stars of magenta. A variety of Lychnis, these hardy little performers are prolific re-seeders, with poppy-like seedpods that act as miniature salt-and-pepper shakers, dispersing their seeds generously. As biennials, they produce a mound of soft foliage the first year, then send up these powerful bursts of saturated blooms in their second. While I’m not enamored of their spindly form, I am in absolute love with their blazing color. Not many flowers match this sort of intensity, and despite their small size the sheer volume of the hue is turned up so high it can be seen from across the yard. Sometimes little things pack a powerful punch, and at the time of the year when a number of flowers are jockeying for the spotlight, this little lychnis manages to steal the show.
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