Plant of the Month – April, 2010
Gloxinia nematanthodes ‘Evita’. All photos courtesy of Jimmy Turner.
Gloxinia nematanthodes ‘Evita’
AT A GLANCE
Latin name: Gloxinia nematanthodes ‘Evita’
Common name: ‘Evita’ hardy gloxinia
Flowers: Orange-red bells all summer
Mature height: 12 in. tall by 4 ft. wide
Hardiness: Perennial Zones 7b to 9
Exposure: Light shade
Water usage: Medium
Sources: Local retail or mail order
Let me introduce a red-flowered perennial made for Texas shade! It’s the hardy gloxinia ‘Evita’.
I discovered this plant several years back, and I just can’t stop finding places to tuck it into the garden. The cascading, soft green foliage looks wonderful scrambling over rocks or spilling out of containers, and from early summer until first frost, large tubular bells of neon orange-red cover the plant.
I find that this Argentinean native does best in light to full shade. During summer ‘Evita’ prefers moist soil, but keep these plants dry during the winter dormancy period. In spring, ‘Evita’ is a little slow to emerge, but don’t worry. She’s a tough plant and will eventually sprout in April. This hardy gesneriad will in time spread to 4 feet across, scrambling around hostas, ferns, and other shade plants, but never overpowering them.
Look for Gloxinia nematanthodes ‘Evita’ at local retail nurseries, but if you can’t find it there, look online at Plant Delights Nursery. Click here to view the listing: http://www.plantdelights.com/Catalog/Current/Detail/05556.html
About the author: Jimmy Turner is the senior director of gardens at the Dallas Arboretum. Visit www.dallasplanttrials.org for more information on his trials.