From basal rosettes of finely cut leaves arise unbranched leafy stems which can be up to a metre or so tall, and which are topped in summer with thick ,spike-like panicles of brilliant red tubular flowers, bright yellow inside. These flare at the end to form five-lobed stars which open from the tip downwards. This stunningly beautiful and easy to cultivate plant is very rarely seen or offered but really should be! For a superb effect, overwinter as a splendid pot plant under glass when it will make a spectacular early display.
For best results, sow immediately onto a good soil-based compost. Cover the seeds with fine grit or compost to approximately their own depth. They can be sown at any time, and germination can sometimes be quicker if kept at 15 to 20 degrees C. We sow most seeds in an unheated greenhouse and wait for natural germination, as many seeds have built-in dormancy mechanisms, often waiting for natural spring germination, hence giving them a full season of growth.
Common name:Standing cypress, Scarlet gilia, Texas plume, Flame flower and Indian spur
Classification:Hardy perennial, Hardy biennial