Lychnis flos-jovis in The Children’s Picture Book of Flowers,

Number 61 in our series of images by Clarence Bicknell. The Children’s Picture Book of Flowers, an album of water colours by Clarence Bicknell. Sempervivum and other red flowers. Flowers are arranged by colour or type but the botanical texts are far from childlike.

Clarence’s albums are carefully designed and colour coordinated. The Children’s Picture Book of Wild Plants features four plants in water-colour on the right, often with a frame of style and colours derived from the flower shown, and on the left a description of each plant. Clarence, in this and many of the albums, delighted in taking the colours and details of flowers as motifs for the frame and for decorative capital letters. Here is a page of red flowers and we’ll deal with each in successive posts.

Lychnis flos-jovis (L)

Area of distribution Maritime Alps, Italian and Mercantour, endemic of the area. Up to 2000 mt. Family : Caryophyllacee. Flowering time : July – August with large pink flowers with compact corymb. Bilobed 5 petals. Stems upright. 30-50 cm of height. Stems and leaves are wooly, whitish. Leaves are lanceolate. Habitat: Siliceous and rocky sunny ravines. Italian name : Crotonella – Fior di Giove. French name : Oeillet de Jupiter. Origin of Name : Lychnis comes from Greek meaning light/lamp as the colour of the flowers last for a long time.


Photo of Lychnis in the wild by Elisabetta Massardo 2022, with our thanks.