Smithiantha : Greenhouse Plants
W – warm, minimum of 13°C (55°F)
Smithiantha cinnabarina from Mexico is the species known as Temple Bells although that name is now given widely to the hybrids that have been formed between this and other species. It can grow to 60 cm (2 ft) tall with hairy dark green and purple leaves and red flowers. The hybrids vary but all have attractively marked, soft hairy leaves and pretty flowers of reds, pinks, orange, yellow, white or mixtures of these. One particularly good name variety is S. ‘Karen Franklyn’ which has delicate shell-pink flowers. Cultivation is the same for all of them. In common with others of their family they dislike water on their leaves. When they have finished flowering they should be allowed to die back to rhizomes under the surface of the. Leave these in their pots until February when they should be potted into peat-based about 2.5 cm (1 in) beneath the surface. Seed should be surface sown at 24°C (75°F) to ensure good germination. Flowers will appear during the summer after a February/March sowing.