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Some of the older readers may remember the Calceolaria from past times, but these wonderful Calynopsis varieties with their exotic, jewel-like blooms  are a real breakthrough.  The Calceolarias have been named things such as Slipper Flower, Pocketbook Plant, Pouch Flower and Slipperwort. Below I want to list some reasons why I think these new varieties are a must for the spring and summer garden.

  1.  Stunning, brightly coloured, orchid-like, slipper blooms.
  2. One of the earliest flowering patio plants that usefully fill the gap between the spring bedding and patio plants and the summer ones. They produce their enchanting flowers from April to July.
  3. They produce multiple flower heads with many blooms on each.
  4. Although they may often be grown as annuals, they are actually half-hardy perennials and can be kept in a frost-free greenhouse or conservatory throughout winter to reflower the following year.
  5. Mounds of attractive, evergreen foliage.
  6. The perfect size for growing in containers, with a height and spread of around 30cm (12in).
  7. Also grow well as a conservatory plant.

These gorgeous new plants prefer an acidic soil, so it is preferable to use an ericaceous compost. Water and feed regularly, but try not to overwater as this may cause rotting.

Plants are available in yellow with red, red, yellow, orange and cerise.

To view these plants both as a collection and as separate colours at Thompson and Morgan click here

Mark Snelling

All images copyright Thompson & Morgan

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