This is the dark purple form of the very rare British native which is both soundly perennial and beautiful. In midsummer, massed panicles of purple-red flowers are held atop strong thin stems, displayed during June and July on upright, almost bare, stems arising from a rosette of strappy green leaves at the base, and will make a charming feature dotted through a border, and may do well in an alpine garden as its natural habitat is on inaccessible rock faces. This unusual member of the Campion family is attractive to moths; indeed the garden name derives from the stickiness of the stems, which are indeed, sticky enough to trap the odd small fly (to no obvious advantage unless you know the reason why, which we don't!). So you may not want to plant it too close to paths and walkways...!
For best results, sow immediately onto a good soil-based compost. Cover the seeds with fine grit or compost to approximately their own depth. They can be sown at any time, and germination can sometimes be quicker if kept at 15 to 20 degrees C. We sow most seeds in an unheated greenhouse and wait for natural germination, as many seeds have built-in dormancy mechanisms, often waiting for natural spring germination, hence giving them a full season of growth.
Common name:Red Catchfly, Clammy campion, Lychnis viscaria atropurpurea