Telanthera (syn. Alternanthera)
These plants are grown for their richly coloured
foliage and are natives of Brazil.
Although perennial in their native habitat, they
are best treated as half-hardy annuals in Britain.
The most desirable forms have originated from
Telanthera amoena, a species with broad, lance-shaped
leaves of red and orange, veined green; it reaches
a height of three to six inches.
Of the various forms var. amabilis, with deep
orange and scarlet foliage, and var. spectabilis,
a brighter form of the type, are the most useful
and may be planted out in favoured localities
where there is protection from cold winds and
full exposure to the sun.
The soil should be rich and well drained.
Very popular for carpet bedding effects or, where
such sophisticated schemes are not favoured, they
provide welcome foliage effect in contrast with
annuals possessing flowers of a suitably contrasting
Propagation is from seed or cuttings, taken in
early spring and rooted in sandy compost, temperature
The season of display is from midsummer until