Cuphea lanceolata ‘Purple Passion’
Cuphea lanceolata W.T. Aiton is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Cuphea. It was first described by William Townsend Aiton in 1811 in Hortus Kewensis, or a Catalogue of the Plants Cultivated in the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew. London.
I bought seeds of the Cuphea lanceolata ‘Purple Passion’ from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in the spring of 2012. They germinated very well and I had enough to transplant along the brick sidewalk going through the garden in the backyard, in the bed on the west side of the garden, and in the bed along the west sunroom. The plants grow at least 2′ tall, but they prefer to be allowed to meander through the other plants. The stems are multi-branching, so soon, if you allow them to do as they please, it will look like you have a mass planting. The flowers of ‘Purple Passion’ are a dark purple. They have 6 petals, 2 are large and 4 are small. The two larger petals look like ears. The stems and leaves feel sticky and will stick to each other. I really liked this annual plant and will buy seeds for my flower beds here in Windsor, maybe for 2017. This is definitely a “try it, you’ll like it” plant.
The flowers are small and taking good photos was kind of difficult.
These typically grown as an annual, but are a tender perennial in USDA zones 10a-11. They prefer consistently moist soil but dislike being over watered. They need to be grown in well-drained soil. They like full sun, but part of my plants were grown in part shade and did just as well. BUT, the ones grown in full sun will flower better. I believe these plants are a native of Mexico.
I really enjoyed growing this very interesting plant for many reasons. Their deep purple flower color, for one, but also because they were just plain strange. If you want a neat and tidy plant that does what you want it to, then they are not for you. I tried staking them when they were young because they kept falling over. Then I realized that was what they wanted, so I let them have their way. I find that when you let some plants do as they please they will be happy and show you their best. That is the Cuphea lanceolata ‘Purple Passion’. They will sprawl among the other plants and add their nice purple flowers among them and are very happy that way. Really does remind you of a mouse sticking it’s head out, or maybe a fairy watching you.
I hope you enjoyed my description and input about the Cuphea lanceolata ‘Purple Passion’ and I do hope you give them a try.