A. nobilis Treneague’ is a non-flowering ground cover plant that can be substituted for turf. It’s ideal for soil that dries out too quickly for other grasses. Plant a whole lawn or just a small area.


This delightful group of annual flowers covers a range of heights and flower types. They bloom from spring to autumn, bearing masses of flowers in a rainbow of colours, excellent for both formal and informal borders.

Suitable site and soil. Select a sunny location on any rich, well-drained garden soil.

Cultivation and care. Plant out in spring after danger of frost has passed. Dead-heading prolongs the flowering season.

Propagation. Sow seeds outdoors in late spring or indoors in winter. Pinch out central tip when plants are 10cm – 4in high.

Recommended varieties. A. majus is grouped according to size (tall, intermediate, dwarf) and flower type. ‘Penstemon’ indicates trumpet-shaped flowers, ‘peloric’ types have regular, tubular flowers and ‘double’ types have irregular-shaped flowers. ‘Madame Butterfly’ and ‘Coronette’ are both tall peloric types in mixed colours. ‘His Excellency’, has dense spikes of large, wide flowers and grows to a height of 45cm – 18in. The ‘Royal Carpet’ series are dwarf, and are only 20cm – 8in high while at the other end of the scale, the ‘Supreme’ series are very tall and impressive, with double ruffled flowers. A. asarina (also known as Asarina procumbens) is a trailing species that is especially suitable for planting in rock gardens, window boxes and hanging baskets.

Pests and diseases. Rust disease may be a problem with A. majus, but there are plenty of rust-resistant cultivars available, so check when you buy.


When growing seeds, use a compost made from equal parts of sand and moss peat. Place the compost in a seed tray or box and firm it down slightly, making sure it is level. Water the compost thoroughly using a fine rose and let it drain before sowing the seed. Cover the seed with a layer of fine sand, then place glass, clear plastic or cling film over the tray. Antirrhinum seeds are quick to germinate. As soon as the seedlings appear, add a liquid feed.

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