Photo by Dave32 (All rights reserved)
This plant has no fragrance
Leafy perennial herb that grows up to 3m in height with large fleshy leaves arising from edible, underground rhizomes. Attractive bright red to orange flowers are followed by warty seed capsules bearing hard, round, black seeds. Some varieties sterile and without seed.
Common problems with Achira
Achira is generally not bothered by pests or diseases.
How to harvest Achira
Both the flowers and the rhizomes can be harvested. The pretty red flowers can be cut for flower arrangements and the rhizomes are edible, both raw and cooked. Ground rhizomes can also be used in baking and are a good source of starch. Pick the leafy shoots while young during the growing season.
How to propagate Achira
Sow seeds 2-5 cm deep. Germination takes 3-9 weeks. The seed has a hard case that should be presoaked in warm water for 24hrs or scratched to encourage moisture penetration and germination. Some plants sterile and produce no seeds.
Divide the root clump in the spring. Each portion must have at least one growing point. Pot up the divisions and grow them on in the greenhouse until they are strong enough to be outside.
Underground rhizome quickly multiply and can be divided after flowering and replanted.
Special features of Achira
Make a green wall when planted close together.
Other uses of Achira