Salpiglossis (group)

Common Name: salpiglossis 
Type: Annual
Family: Solanaceae
Zone: 2 to 11
Height: 1.50 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: Red, orange, yellow, bronze, violet or purple
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies

Culture

Cool weather annual that performs best in areas with cool summer temperatures. Plants are easily grown in humusy, moderately fertile, consistently moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Consider sites with some part afternoon shade in hot summer climates. In St. Louis, purchase plants in spring in six packs or start seed indoors in pots about 8-10 weeks prior to last spring frost date. Set plants outside shortly before last frost date. Application of mulch around the plants will help keep root zones cool. Do not allow soils to dry out. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage additional bloom. Taller plants may need staking.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Many of the plants sold under the common name of salpiglossis or painted tongue are hybrid cultivars that are primarily derived from Salpiglossis sinuata. As a group, these cultivars are upright annuals that grow to 1.5-3’ tall on somewhat weak stems clad with lanceolate green leaves (to 4” long) with wavy margins. Leaves and stems are typically hairy and sticky. Funnel-shaped, wide-throated, 5-lobed flowers (to 2” wide) in clusters bloom from the upper leaf axils in the cool temperatures of late spring to early summer, with continued bloom throughout summer usually occurring only in cool summer areas. Flower colors typically include shades of red, orange, yellow, bronze, violet or purple, usually with marbling or contrasting veins in different colors.

Genus name comes from the Greek words salpinx meaning a trumpet and glossa meaning a tongue with reference to the elongated trumpet-shaped flower.

Popular selections available in commerce include Bolero Hybrids, Casino Series, Friendship Series, Royale Hybrids and Splash Mixture plus individual cultivars such as ‘Kew Blue’.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for aphids. Wilts, gray mold and rot may occur.

Garden Uses

Popular bedding plant. Mixed plantings and containers.