Achimenes or 'Hot water Plant'
Achimenes are a much hybridised genus often called the 'Hot Water Plant'. They get this from the theory that hey are best watered with water that has been allowed to get to a room temperatures, rather than the cold water from the tap.
They are a bulb or rhizome grown for their flowers which appear in summer. Achimenes are a sub tropical plant so require a degree of protection in cooler climates. Given this they may be aptly named hot water plants as cold water from the UK system may not be that great for them.
The trick to growing these lovely flowering plants in the UK is to keep the bulbs or rhizomes dry and frost free when dormant. In the UK these are an indoors plant, suited to warm position on an enclosed patio in a hanging basket.
One of the early hybrids still popular today is Achimenes ambroise verschaffelt. The flowers are white to pale lavender with lovely purple veins and a touch of orange to yellow in the throat, widely used in hanging baskets because of its excellent trailing habit this is one to look for as plant fairs and collectors meetings although still available commercially in season.
Achimenes grandiflora and Achimenes longiflora are the two most used species for hybridization.
Growing conditions and care
In cultivation Achimenes are often grown in hanging baskets. A. erecta is as its name suggests a more upright species. Achimenes need to kept moist during the growing period.Achimenes plants are a summer flowering rhizomatous perennial trailing plant originally from Mexico and are often known as the 'Hot Water Plant'.
Achimenes species available for sale in the UK include :
Achimenes longiflora, Achimenes grandiflora, Achimenes heterophylla, Achimenes cettoana and Achimenes erecta.
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Achimene rhizomes are available for sale from the following nurseries
Stanley Mossops achimene rhizomes are once again for sale. Also selling: kohlerias, african violets, streptocarpus and smithianthas
HIMALAYAN GARDENS Ltd
28 Marywell Brae, Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland DD8 4BP, UK.
Rare and unusual Plants. Temperate and tropical flower bulbs and plants from around the world.