INCARVILLEA Chinese Trumpet Flower

Despite its odd growth habit and conservatory-plant appearance, there is nothing difficult about Incarvillea. In early May the flower stalks push through the ground and in early summerthe Gloxinia-like flowers open. Several of these 3 in. trumpets are borne on each stalk, and the plant’s peculiar feature is the appearance of the leaves after flowering has taken place. Add compost to the soil before planting and mark the plant’s position with a stick in autumn – all growth disappears in winter and it is so easy to cut off the emerging flowers when hoeing in spring!

VARIETIES: I. Delavayi is the basic species – height 2 ft. Spacing 1 ft.

Flowering period: May-June. The dark green leaves are fern-like and the flowers deep pink. A pale pink variety (’Bees Pink’) is available. Less easy to find but more colourful is the smaller variety I. grandiflora. The stems grow about 1 ft tall, the leaves are not ferny and the rose-red flowers have yellow throats.

SITE AND SOIL: Well-drained soil and full sun are essential.

PROPAGATION: Sow seeds outdoors in spring. Division of clumps in autumn is possible but difficult. delavayi

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