Exotic-Looking Annuals

alternantherajewel (300x295)Alternanthera ‘Jewel’ – Like some species of Amaranthus this plant is also commonly known as ‘Joseph’s Coat’, much in part to its lance-shaped leaves of pink, copper, gold and green. The small white flowers are inconspicuous and this heat tolerant plant can be used in part to full sun exposures in much the same way that one would use Coleus in shade. Grows 18″ high by 18-24″ wide. Z9

begoniasparkswillfly (300x296)Begonia x hybrida ‘Sparks Will Fly’ (syn. ‘Brothglow’) – A mounding Begonia, perfect for containers or hanging baskets, with rich burgundy foliage (and light green veining) contrasted nicely by pendulous tangerine-orange blooms. It flowers from late spring through to autumn, with the blooms shifting to yellow in the fall. Shade loving. Grows 15-18″ high and wide. Annual.

salviablueangel2 (300x293)Salvia patens ‘Blue Angel’ – This variety of Gentian Sage features eye-catching electric blue flowers that can get from 2 to 2.5″ wide. These are borne atop tall green-leaved plants and the blooms will definitely attract the hummingbirds. This sun-loving summer flower blooms from midsummer through to autumn, or the first frosts. Grows 24-36″ high by 10-16″ wide. Hardy to zone 8.

acalypha (300x298)Acalypha pendula – The Firetail Chenile Plant is generally pendulous in its growing habit and is useful for tucking into mixed planters, hanging baskets or growing along a wall where it can cascade. The fuzzy rose-red caterpillar-like blooms are very distinct and can grow up to 5-7″ long. Part to full sun. Can be overwintered as a houseplant. Grows 8″ high by 15-18″. Z9

asterdwarfqueenmix (300x296)Callistephus chinensis ‘Dwarf Queen Mix’ – A dwarf form of China Aster that is often grown from seed. It flowers from July to October, with fringed double blooms (up to 3″ wide) of rose, pink , white and violet-purple. These make excellent (albeit short) cut flowers and this species prefers a part to full sun exposure. Grows 10-12″ high by 10-12″ wide. Annual.

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