Alonsoa warscewiczii

Height: 30-60cm (12-24in)

Planting distance: 38cm (15in)

Features: flowers summer to autumn

Soil: rich, well-drained

Site: sunny

Type: half-hardy annual

These compact bushy plants, originally natives of Peru, reach 30-60cm (12-24in) high, with glossy dark green oval leaves and red stems. The brilliant flowers with their yellow centres last from mid summer till mid autumn, adding colour to formal beds, informal borders and containers.

Popular species and varieties:

Alonsoa linearis has masses of very large orange flowers and grows 45cm (18in) high.

Alonsoa warscewiczii ‘Compacta’ has scarlet blooms and reaches 45-60cm (l8-24in) high.

A. w.

‘Scarlet Bedder’ is an easy to grow, orange-scarlet variety, with flowers freely produced on pyramidal plants, 30-45cm (12-18in) high.

Cultivation

Sow seeds in covered seed trays in late winter and early spring, keeping them at 15°C (59°F). Prick out, and harden off in a cold frame before planting out in late spring. Set the plants 15-23cm (6-9in) apart in rich, well-drained soil in a sunny position. When the plants are 5-8cm (2-3in) high pinch out the growing tips to encourage bushy growth.

Pests and diseases: Aphids may infest the stems and leaves.

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