Both Silene and Lychnis species are sometimes called ‘Catchfly’. The common name comes from the sticky resinous trichomes which quite often entrap small flies which land on them. Not all species have the sticky hairs, but the name persists.
These plants are really easy to grow – usually very trouble free and mostly unbothered by pests. They will get aphids and spider mite when growing in greenhouse conditions, but outdoors they tend to be OK and just keep going regardless of an infestation.
Often the plants will only last a few years before giving up, but they usually self-seed and depending on the species they may also seed around the place too.
Some of the species are really old-fashioned Cottage-garden style plants, but others can do better in rockeries, coming from more arid environments in the wild.
Pollinators love these plants, and the usually have quite long stems – not always though. Lychnis x arkwrightii is usually offered as one of its dwarf-growing forms – good and compact for smaller gardens or rockeries, but lost in a bigger border.
These are really easy to grow from seed – just sow them in spring and watch them thrive!