its original form this shrubby perennial is a rather slender plant
about 24 in (60 cm) high, with rose pink flowers shading to a darker
red eye in the center.
Garden forms are generally lower and more compact with larger
flowers in a wider range of colors, blooming almost throughout the
Some mixed color series have flowers ranging from purple through
pink to white, while others have mainly pale colors (or white) with
prominent red eyes.
All parts of the plant contain poisonous alkaloids from which drugs
of value in the treatment of leukaemia have been refined.
Cultivation: In warm climates they will tolerate moderately both
deep shade and the fiercest sun, and a dry atmosphere. Grow in
free-draining soil, which should be kept moist in the growing
period. Tip prune to keep bushy, but not so heavily as to inhibit
Propagate from seed or from cuttings.