Sizzling deep red flowers with a contrasting central eye of yellow, cream and black, plus deep green, attractive foliage, make this summer flowering perennial a treat. The flowers, which keep on opening over a long period, are large, exceptionally so for such a small plant, making ‘Takatu Red’ spectacular as well as beautiful.
This is a sun lover, never happier than when it’s getting a good baking all day long. It is drought tolerant and is excellent in beach gardens, in raised planters, on dry and difficult banks and poor soils, yet is just as good in sheltered gardens with rich soil providing there is excellent drainage.
It loves pots and looks stunning when grown this way and placed on a sunny deck or on steps by a front door where it makes a most welcoming note.
‘Takatu Red’ looks superb with other brightly coloured, low growing perennials and with annuals too. In sheltered gardens, try it with the new, cold hardy Geranium ‘Rozanne’ which has lots of blue blooms for months on end in summer, and Euphorbia ‘Kea’ which is low growing and has big heads of lime green flowers throughout winter, spring and early summer. Add some of the Eucomis or pineapple flowers which have deep wine coloured foliage, a feature in spring and summer to go with the bold, late summer, pineapple-shape flowers. It also combines nicely with bright annuals such as marigolds.
In beach gardens ‘Takatu Red’ is a fun plant to use as a massed ground cover or to grow between other plants. Try it with the dark, chocolate-red of Aeonium ‘Schwartzkopf’, a tall growing, spectacular succulent, or with lavenders, Gaillardia ‘Fanfare’, Arctotis varieties and as a foreground to Leucospermums and Leucadendrons. It also makes a stunning surround to bold foliage Aloes and Yuccas. For dramatic contrast, plant several ‘Takatu Red’ in the foreground of Euphorbia ‘Silver Swan’, which has cream and grey foliage and flower heads of precisely the same colour.