Exotic Annuals

Amaranthus tricolor ‘Splendens’ (syn. ‘Splendens Perfecta’) – Joseph’s Coat is a native of South America but can be commonly found in many tropical regions where the leaves are steamed and eaten. As the name implies, it features stunning foliar tones of red, yellow, burgundy and green on leaves held in whorled clusters. Drought tolerant. Grows 3-4′ high by 18″ wide. Annual.

Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ (syn. var purpurescens) – Blue Shrimp Flower or Honeywort features arching stems of alternate bluish-green leaves with terminal clusters of deep purple flowers surrounded by smokey violet bracts. It flowers from late May to August, prefers part to full sun and will attracts hummingbirds. Readily self-seeds. Grows 18 to 24″ high and wide. Annual.

Ipomoea quamoclit (formerly Ipomoea pennata) – An annual vine with numerous common names – including Cypress Vine, Cardinal Creeper and Hummingbird Vine. It is native from South America to Mexico and features 3/4″ wide trumpet shaped blooms of deep scarlet. The finely cut leaves have a ferny, almost conifer like appearance. Grows 6-12′ high by 3′ wide. Zone 11.

Strobilanthes dyerianus – Persian Shield is a soft-stemmed shrub where hardy, but here in coastal BC it is primarily grown as an annual foliage plant. This native of Myanmar (Burma) features 6″ long deep green leaves with a violet-purple overlay and a distinct silver to pewter sheen. The best foliage colour is produced in part shade. Grows 12-36″ high and wide. Hardy to zone 10.

Osteospermum ‘Astra Outback Purple’ – Despite the name, the daisy-like blooms emerge with hints of yellow, maturing to an orange (with darker striping along the length of the petal) with a purple base. There is also a bit of a metallic sheen to the flowers. Prefers part to full sun with the blooms closing at night or on overcast days. Grows 10″ high by 12″ wide. Zone 9.

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One Response to Exotic Annuals

  1. Joe Owens says:

    When i had my greenhouse business I loved combining trailing Osteospermum with trailing Verbena to make a beautiful combination planting for large pots or hanging baskets.

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