5) Dianthus, Lychnis, Silene and other Caryophyllaceae

Identification of Silene used in Tibetan Medicine

Submitted by Chadwell on

I am currently helping Dr Tsering Norbu, Director, Materia Medica (Medicinal Plants) Department of The Dalai Lama's Tibetan Medical & Astrological Institute in Dharamsala, N.India with providing Scientific Identifications for hundreds of Himalayan species utilised in Tibetan Medicine. I would welcome any suggestions for the attractive Silene which he provided an image of growing in Spiti, a Tibetan borderland district of Himachal Pradesh (bordering the W.Himalaya) in N.India.

Saponaria cypria - a hardy Cyprus endemic

Submitted by Mark McD on

Back in 2000 I received seed from North American Rock Garden Society seedlist of Saponaria cypria collected in the Troodos Mts of Cyprus. It is a seldom encountered endemic species. Just to let everyone know, it turns out this gem of a rock plant is perfectly hardy and easy to grow. Not only that, it flowers in late July to August, when little else is blooming. Of course this year, with our season 2-3 weeks advanced, it is beginning to flower in early July (now).

Dianthus petraeus

Submitted by Hatchett on

I planted some seeds of this plant, D. petraeus a few years ago and noticed a startlingly high germination rate. The plant does look very nice and the flowers were profuse and lasted quite a while. What a mistake!!! I let the darn things go to seed and now it has spread most alarmingly. Even a small seedling has a robust root system making plucking them out not doable unless it is very small. I have had to resort to Roundup but these plants keep coming up by the hundreds.

Silene caroliniana ssp. wherryi (Carolina Catchfly)

Submitted by Mark McD on

I don't think gardeners realize just how good Silene caroliniana ssp. wherryi is, a species native to portions of eastern USA. I have found it growing in mixed deciduous woods in fairly heavy shade. Yet as shade-tolerant Silene go, it is also low growing and floriferous. In the past I called it simply S. wherryi, but based on the Flora of North America, it is considered a subspecies of S. caroliniana, along with two other subspecies.

One of the best pinks

Submitted by Kelaidis on

I grew a plant labeled Dianthus myrtinervius years ago which was just a redder (almost crimson) Dianthus deltoides. When I researched the name, it was obvious the original plant was quite different. In recent years the true D. myrtinervius is being sold by several mail order nurseries. I've grown it for years, but last spring I took this picture in the garden of Sally Boyson, editor of our local chapter's newsletter.