These annuals and tender perennials are native to Central and South America. Their leaves are notably round, palmately-lobed, or palmate. The spurred flowers are widely funnelled, with five petals that are curiously fringed or lobed. Some species are bushy or trailing, and they are suitable for garden edges, herb gardens, covering banks, hanging baskets, and other containers. The leaves and flowers of the annuals are edible.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsThe genus offers species with distinctly-shaped leaves and showy blossoms, all uniquely shaped and saturated with color.
CareGenerally, grow in moist, well-drained soil in full sun (see individual species for detailed information). Tender species may be grown as border plants and stored indoors in winter with minimal moisture while dormant. Under glass, provide with full light and shade from direct sun. Note: some species are summer-dormant.
PropagationSow annual seeds in early spring, or in situ in midspring. Sow seeds of perennials in a cold frame when fresh. Divide tubers when dormant in autumn, and of T. speciosum in early spring. Root stem cuttings with bottom heat in late summer.
ProblemsCaterpillars, flea beetles, black aphids, slugs, whiteflies, viruses.