Last updated on May 22nd, 2023 at 11:45 am

It originated from the family of Caryophyllaceae, which includes flowers such as pinks and carnations. Viscaria Vulgaris used to be grown at roadside stands and as a meadow wallflower. 

This plant was later introduced to Great Britain as a cottage garden plant during the 1700s. After that, it became popular on other continents. 

The plant is also called Lychnis Viscaria or clammy campion. The Viscaria flower meaning comes from Latin. The term “Viscaria” comes from the Latin “Viscum,” which means “sticky.” This flower’s name comes from the stickiness of its stem below the leaf joints. 

As a result, this flower is also known as Sticky Catchfly. The “Vulgaris” name of the flower represents how common this plant is in its native land.

According to experts, the secretion of reddish-brown sticky matter on the stem is the plant’s way of keeping predators at bay. Otherwise, they will try to squeeze their way into the flower by climbing the stem. Flower nectar is irresistible to moths, but since this sticky secretion prevents them from reaching it, they cannot go near them. It is also for this reason that most people find dead insects and debris on the plant. Some pink-flowered variations of these flowers may contain no or little liquid secretion (tar).

Flowers of this species usually grow on drier, hilly ridges, rocky soils, riverbanks, sloping meadows, and railway embankments.

What does the Viscaria flower symbolize?

Traditionally, viscaria flowers were given to women as invitations to dance. Their literal meaning was,” Will you dance with me?” They were quite popular during Victorian times when asking a lady for a dance verbally was considered impolite. Its name Viscaria comes from the stickiness of its stem below the leaf joints where insects are attracted. Consequently, it became symbolic of desire, allure, or flirtation.

In addition, with a height of 24 inches, its colorful flower soars above the foliage, making them cheerful, delicate, and joyful while symbolizing dance and movement. In the language of flowers, this flirty flower signifies passion, desire, or even someone searching for love.

Furthermore, its alternate name, Lychnis Viscaria, comes from the Greek term Lychnos, which means lamp. The plant’s stem was traditionally used as a wick in oil lamps. Thus, when defining the viscaria flower meaning, people also called it a beacon of light and hope.

All in all, the viscaria flower symbolic meanings are:

  • loyalty
  • love
  • devotion
  • light
  • hope

Meaning of the Viscaria flower colors

Purple color

Purple is the color in viscaria flowers that stands for elegance, passion, and luxury. It is also the most common color in it.

Pink color

Pink colors with lighter, softer hues symbolize fun, playfulness, and gentleness.

White color

Known also as the White Angel or Viscaria Oculata, this color symbolizes purity.

Blue color

Known as the Viscaria Blue angel, this attractive viscaria flower is a rare find. In this flower, there is a blend of two-tone mid-blue flowers.

Interesting facts about the Viscaria flowers

  • Viscarias are often grown as ornamental plants in rock gardens or to control erosion. 
  • The viscarias flowers contain a substance known as Brassinosteroids, which is used in fertilizers and plant-strengthening formulas. Thus, it can help increase the resistance of plants against diseases as well as improve the overall health of nearby flower plants. 
  • Hence, it is safe to say that viscarias aren’t meant to be eaten or used as medicine. It does not mean they are toxic, but scientists have yet to prove their safety for consumption.

How to grow Viscaria flowers

Viscarias are low-maintenance plants and easy to grow and care for.

  1. Plant the viscarias in slightly sandy, loamy, well-draining soil to thrive.
  2. Choose a spot where it can receive full sun for at least half of the day.
  3. Water either in the morning or evening, as opposed to midday, particularly on sunny days.
  4. Use liquid fertilizer for plants when watering during the summer.

How to care for Viscaria flowers

  1. Water the plant thoroughly if the top several inches of the soil is dry.
  2. Add the fertilizer once per month throughout the warmer months.
  3. Deadhead flowers to encourage fuller blooms. 
  4. Trim inflorescences or flowering stalks to about two inches.
  5. Prune stems and branches after the flowers have bloomed.
  6. Trim back the plant before the seeds mature to limit the spread of seeds and new growth.

Best time to gift Viscaria flowers

From May to August, the viscaria flower blooms beautifully. This is because the best time to plant them is after the coldest part of winter has passed. This flower is a great gift for gardening or a handmade unique floral jewelry item.


Viscaria vulgaris is not widely accessible as a cut flower, but it is an excellent landscaping plant for creating a statement in a rock garden. Give it dry, alkaline conditions, and it will blossom for years. It’s worth adding to practically any yard with the correct conditions because of its distinct meanings and significance.

If you want to know and learn more about flowers, we at PansyMaiden can help you. Check out our fun, easy-to-read, and informative flower-related content that you will surely enjoy!