A fast growing, upright, evergreen (if kept under heated glass for winter) sub-shrub with lance-shaped leaves and umbrella like clusters of orange-red flowers up to 2cm across. These usually appear in summer and autumn but can often be in flower for much of the year if temperatures are kept high enough and with good lighting. The flowers are followed by erect, ovoid fruit which split open revealing fluffy coated seeds.
The flowers are nectar rich and loved by butterflies and other pollinating insects. Usually used as summer bedding in the UK but our own trial plants have now got through two winters outside down on the south coast with nothing more than a thick bark chip mulch to protect the roots. Saying that the last two winters have been extremely mild with our coastal garden only experiencing short spells of -3c. They have been grown in the ground, potted plants are unlikely to survive outside for the winter and although the top growth has been knocked back by frost new growth has appeared from the rootstock by late May growing rapidly once temperatures have increased. Plants grown in colder areas, away for southerly UK zone 9 gardens would require a frost free environment for the winter. If a very cold winter is forecast even plants in zone 9 may require winter protection.
Maximum height 1 meter. Plant in full sun with a well drained, acid to neutral soil keeping well watered during the growing season.
Sent as a young plant in a 9cm pot.
Additional photos By © 2016 Jee & Rani Nature Photography (License: CC BY-SA 4.0), CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54042661,