Photo: Blackstem Plants
This is native to central and eastern Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and northwestern China - so it's quite tough.
There are loads of common names for this cottage garden favourite but the RHS use 'Maltese Cross' so we're sticking with that.
The flowers are produced in clusters of 10-50 together; each flower is bright red, with a five-lobed corolla, each lobe being further split into two smaller lobes. This forms a general shape similar to that of the Maltese cross.
Best grown in averagely moist but well drained soils in full sun or partial shade. Very moist and over-rich soils will cause it to flop but a little staking should help.
Very easy, colourful, long lived and an RHS-AGM to boot.
Full sun, partial shade