Are you thirsting for color in your summer garden? Winecups may be the drink you are looking for. Deep magenta, cup-shaped flowers give this summer blooming perennial its common name. Its richly colored, five petal flowers have a white center and stand above the green, deeply lobed leaves. Reaching just 5-10 inches in height, it likes room to spread, as much as 20-30 inches at maturity. Blooming from June through late frost gives the garden a splash of color through most of the growing season.
This native thrives in ordinary loam or dry clay soil and is hardy up to 8,000 feet. It prefers full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. Winecups requires low to moderate watering making it a good choice for a xeric landscape. Overwatering causes the stems to become straggly and collapse.
With its low growing, spreading habit, Winecups looks good cascading over walls and tumbling down slopes, but also works well in the front of the border or in a wildflower garden. No matter where you plant it, you can be sure its eye-catching color will liven up the landscape well into the fall. Winecups was included on the 1999 Plant Select list. You can read more about Plant Select choices at : www.plantselect.org.
Contributed by Lisa Bird, Colorado Master Gardener. For answers to your horticultural questions, contact the Master Gardener Help Desk at (719) 520-7684 (new number) or CSUmg2@elpasoco.com
Photo courtesy of Joan Nusbaum, Colorado Master Gardener