Alonsoa warscewiczii syn. meridionalis
Mask flower
Highly recommended!
Type/Hardiness Herbaceous, Tender perennial, Annual, Half hardy
Flowering period Summer
Height 12-24in/30-60cm
Light preference Sun
Soil preference Any reasonable, well-drained soil
Sowing time/depth Any time, Barely cover
A native of Peru, this is one of my favourite discoveries! The stems of this tender perennial are strong and wiry and the small leaves are a rich green. The flowers, which are about an inch across and rich vermillion-red, opening from sweet little pouch-like buds, are produced in profusion throughout the summer. Looks lovely planted en masse near the front of the border, along with other delicate annuals. Also known as A. grandiflora and A. incisifolia.
Sowing and/or growing instructions
Sow on the surface of a good quality compost, barely covering with a sprinkling of sieved compost or fine vermiculite. Although late spring sowings are more common, there is no harm in sowing at any time in a frost free greenhouse and waiting for germination to occur in at its own pace. The provision of heat (60-68F/15-20C) will make germination less erratic. Pot on seedlings when they are large enough to handle and plant out when all risk of frost is past. The plant can be overwintered in a heated greenhouse or near a bright window indoors, and may even survive ourside in mild areas, but they are so easy from seed that it is probably not worthwhile.
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