Alonsoa or 'mask flower' are a native of Central and South America.

In warmer climates they can be grown as a perennial, however in the UK they are grown as a half hardy annual and dp perform well from seed.

The beauty of Alonsoa is the long flowering season, from late spring through summer. Up to 3 months of colour is a plus for any plant, most species have a dark throat and most are easy from seed.

Alonsoa can be red, orange, yellow, white or blue flowering depending on form.

Alonsoa species

As a native to warmer climates like Peru and Chile they are not that common in the UK, but are fairly easy to grow from seed, flowering from summer through to autumn.

Growing conditions and care

Best grown in pots or containers in a warm position perhaps on a patio, well drained humus rich moist soil. Use a frame to hold them up, or let them trail but protect from frosts.

Seeds can be sown directly into a comtainer or hanging basket, surface sown and pressed lightly into the growing medium with just a light covering of soil. They do need light to germinate.

Keep warm and moist until they show signs of growth, after that temperatures can drop back a little, however no frosyts or cold breezes.

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Alonsoa Plants are available for sale from the following participating growers

Greenways Lane, Cold Ashton, Chippenham, Wilts SN14 8LA - Tel: 01225 891686
Includes: Alonsoa 'Bright Spark', Alonsoa 'Peachy-Keen', Alonsoa unilabiata, Alonsoa 'Pink Beauty'.