From the Greek alpha privative and cheimino “I’m in the cold” to indicate that it is too delicate plants to withstand low temperatures. Perennials, rhizomatous, with short-stemmed flowers, long tubular corolla and 5 brightly colored petals. They are native to Central and South America and can not withstand temperatures below 13-16 ° C. The rhizomes are small, scaly (each flake is a modified leaf) and need a fairly long winter rest, completely dry in a warm place, to avoid any danger of rotting. A lot of light, never direct sun.

The cultivation of the delicate Achimenes requires careful care.
The cultivation of the delicate Achimenes requires careful care.

Cultivated species Achimenes:

A. coccinea, with small scarlet flowers; A. longiflora, the type species native to Guatemala, has purple flowers, but many hybrids of these two species have been produced by crossing them between themselves and the A. grandiflora and the A. tubiflora, producing cultivars with flowers ranging from purple to pink, to white, to red in every shade. The seeds are in fact usually sold “in mixture” and so are the rhizomes.


despite being greenhouse plants, in central-southern Italy, they are also used in the garden and can also be grown in the apartment, provided that the brightness needed for the flowering can be provided; their height varies from 20 to 60 cm, so the taller species will need supports appropriately arranged in the vase. The rhizomes are put into cultivation in February, in pots or terrines, about 6 cm deep in a soil composed of fibrous earth, peat and leaves earth, to which will be added sand or agri-perlite, at about 18 ° C and the waterings will have to be moderated at first, until growth has begun, to gradually increase them. It is important, however, that the vase has an excellent drainage. The repotting, if you want to do, can be done when the plants have reached 5 cm, depending on more or less vigorous growth, so as to obtain a uniform height. After flowering the waterings will be gradually thinned out until complete cessation, the dried stems cut and the tubers left in dry rest until the following February, either by removing them and placing them in dry peat, either leaving them in their pot. The multiplication is carried out by seed, in March, at a temperature of 21-27 ° C, or in open by cuttings of shoots that will easily root.