Lychnis flos-cuculi

Common Names: Ragged-Robin
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Carnation family

Forms a rosette of low growing foliage with numerous flower stems 20 to 90 cm tall. The stems rise above the foliage and branch near the top of the stem and end with the pink flowers which are 3 to 4 cm across. The flowers have five narrow petals deeply divided into four lobes giving the flower an untidy, ragged appearance, hence its common name. The calyx tube is five-toothed with ten stamens. The leaves are paired, with the lower leaves spoon-shaped and stalked. The middle and upper leaves are linear-lanceolate with pointed apexes. All of the leaves are untoothed. The stems have barbed hairs pointing downward and these hairs make the plant rough to the touch. The fruits consist of small (6 to 10 mm) capsules opening on top by five teeth and containing many small seeds, they are found on the plants from August onwards.

Found along roads and in wet meadows and pastures. Blooms from May to August, occasionally later.

Edible Notes: No available information on edibility.
Warnings: This plant contains saponins. Although fairly toxic, these substances are poorly absorbed by the body, most passing straight through without any harm. Saponins can be found in a number of common foods such as some beans. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish.
Sightings