There is something about this flower that fascinates me, I don't know why. I don't seem to be able to grow the classic four petaled variety that inspired the plant's name either, just the five petal one.

It is one of those perennials you forget you planted, only to have them startle you in the middle of July, when they spring these tiny red stars on you, burning bright in a sea of greenery. The rest of the time it just fades into the background, with sinuous stems quietly winding under the larger foliage, not much bothered by meager sunshine or cold weather, true to its Siberian roots. If you need a plant for zone two, look no further.

This is a very long lived perennial and surprisingly resilient, if you were to judge by its tender stems, which can be easily broken if you don't handle them with care. It does prefer sunshine and it will bloom more abundantly when it has it, so, after growing one of these plants in the shade for many years I decided to plant another one in full sun and see how it does. Here is a picture of it, it's a dwarf variety.

Maltese Cross is an heirloom plant, in fact I grew the first one from seed straight from the historical grounds of Monticello. Some say it can become invasive if allowed to self sow, but I'll have to see that yet. It is shy and well behaved in my garden, where its clump has neither spread nor perished over many years.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight"; "A Year and A Day"; "Möbius' Code"; "Between Mirrors"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: allyeargarden.com and theweeklygardener.com, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.