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The Rose Campion

The Rose Campion

The Rose Campion (or Agrostemma coronaria) – distinguished by its hoary leafage, its forked style of growth, the arrangement of its leaves in pairs and its single solitary flower – was a common sight in Victorian gardens.

Hibberd adored the flower. He told the story of once visiting a manufacturing millionaire’s gardens. This man had almost four acres of glass houses, had everything from begonias to bananas growing, but the most prized possession of both the owner and his gardeners was a clump of rose campion near the foot of a tree.

In Victorian times there were three forms of the rose campion in cultivation. The single red (left), the single white and the double red. The two singles were plentiful even in Elizabethan times when it was also known as the rose of Mary or the rose of Heaven.

Information and image taken from F. Edward Hulme and Shirley Hibberd, Familiar Garden Flowers (Cassell, Peter, Galpin and Co.: London: c. 1890), 5 vols.

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