Family: Gesneriaceae

These perennials of South America and the West Indies have delicate, brilliantly colored flowers. They are ideal pot plants for the warm greenhouse or conservatory and they make attractive house plants. They are effective, too, when used in hanging baskets or pots.


Although there are some 26 species of Achimenes, those most commonly grown are the cultivars of A. longiflora. These plants are herbaceous, (lying back completely during the winter and spring. New growth appears from late spring to early summer, and they flower through midsummer to autumn. They rarely grow more than 30 cm (12 in) in height. The tubular or funnel-shaped flowers come in a range of colors including white, blue, hot pink, purple and deep red. The attractive foliage is red on the underside.


Although best raised from tubers planted in late winter to early spring, they can also be easily propagated from seed. Use a light fibrous compost, with a good scattering of sand. Place pieces of crock or charcoal in the bottom of the container as these plants require good drainage. The pots or baskets can be dried out in winter and the tubers stored until spring.


Subtropical to tropical.

Achillea      Acmena