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Regional Picks: Short Plants – South

Fine Gardening - Issue 190
Photo: millettephotomedia.com

1. ‘Evita’ Hardy Gloxinia

Name: Seemannia nematanthodes ‘Evita’

Zones: 7b–9

Size: 1 foot tall and 4 feet wide

Conditions: Partial shade; well-drained soil in winter and moist soil in summer

Native Range: Argentina

There aren’t many bright red flowers for shade, but hardy gloxinia fills that niche. From midsummer to frost, this ground cover erupts with scarlet blossoms that hover over rich green foliage and appear like elongated jelly beans with one end flared open. I particularly like how radiant the flowers look in the late evening sun, an effect that can be enhanced by allowing this plant to cascade over a rock wall or carpet the ground along a planting’s edge. This member of the African violet family was selected at a high elevation in Argentina for enhanced winter hardiness, but it can be tender in zones farther north. It is often late to start growing in spring, so…

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