Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Achimenes 'Cattleya'

Achimenes 'Cattleya' 
On first consideration I shouldn’t like achimenes: the ones I grow are not fragrant, they are not frost hardy, they duplicate colors and growth habits seen in garden impatiens and petunias, and they are slow to come into bloom. Yet there is something about these plants which is very appealing: is it their poise? They present themselves very pertly. Allowing for a couple of quirks, I find them easy to grow.
The one shown here is Achimenes 'Cattleya' (when this post was originally made, I called it Achimines mexicana).
 Achimenes had their glory days in the mid to late nineteenth century: hybrids proliferated then, including several which are still grown today. Present-day enthusiasts live in the shadow of those days: although the color range is wider today, the number of cultivars available is much reduced.

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