Just a few species of branching annuals, biennials, and perennials make up this genus of plants grown for their cross-shaped flowers and, sometimes, their translucent silver-dollar fruit. The casual habit of this old-fashioned plant makes it useful in a border, woodland, or cottage garden, where it will likely naturalize. For dried flower arrangements, cut the stems as the fruit loses its green color and hang upside down indoors in a cool place until dry.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsCross-shaped flowers in loose clusters. Some species have attractive seedpods that are great for drying.
CareChoose a site in full sun or part shade with fertile, moist but well-drained soil.
PropagationL. rediviva seeds should be planted in the garden in spring or autumn or the plants divided in spring. L. annua should be direct sown in early summer.
ProblemsClubroot, white blister, viruses, leaf spot.