Plant of the Month for Apr 2022

Calceolaria biflora

Description and General Information:

This low-growing plant is native to southern Argentina and Chile. Plants from an evergreen rosette of rounded, slightly hairy leaves. Wiry stems to 15-25 cm tall arise in late spring to early summer, each topped with a pair of yellow, pouch-like flowers. Each flower is about 2 cm and lightly spotted in the throat with fine red spots.


This Calceolaria is quite easy to grow. Provide a moist but well-drained site in part shade (southern areas) to full sun (northern areas). It is surprisingly hardy, to zone 3 with good snow cover, but apt to be short-lived so regular collection of seed is recommended. It prefers slightly acidic soil. While a lovely subject for the shady rockery, it is wonderful as a trough plant where the unique flowers can be best appreciated.

Bloom Period:

April to May in the south but as late as July in the north.


Seed is the most reliable and easy way to propagate this plant. Seeds generally do not require any stratification period. Simply direct sow at about 20 C and germination should commence in a couple of weeks. If there is no germination after a month, then try giving them 6 weeks at 4 C. Large clumps may be dug and divided after flowering.

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