Description from Flora of China
Coronaria Guettard; Hedona Loureiro.
Herbs biennial or perennial. Stems erect. Leaves lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, apex acute. Inflorescence a dichasium or flower solitary. Calyx tubular to narrowly funnel-shaped or narrowly campanulate, usually not inflated, 10-veined, with 5 teeth. Petals 5, long clawed, limb white, pink, or red, entire, bifid, 4-fid, or laciniate; coronal scales present. Androgynophore ± conspicuous, glabrous. Stamens 10. Ovary 1-loculed; ovules numerous; styles 5, opposite calyx teeth, their bases persistent in fruit. Capsule septicidally dehiscing with 5 teeth. Seeds numerous, reniform, minute, ± tuberculate.
Lychnis coronaria (Linnaeus) Desrousseaux is cultivated in China for its attractive flowers.
Recently, Greuter (in Taxon 44: 543–581. 1995) placed Lychnis into the synonymy of Silene . However, Oxelman et al. (in Nordic J. Bot. 20: 513–518. 2001) showed that it is possible to retain Lychnis and several other genera (e.g., Atocion ) as separate from Silene in a taxonomy that is consistent with both the ability to diagnose taxa and solid, molecular-phylogenetic hypotheses. Some species, traditionally included in Lychnis, belong in Silene .
About 25 species: temperate Africa, Asia, and Europe; six species in China.
(Authors: Lu Dequan; Magnus Lidén, Bengt Oxelman)