Showy tropical shrubs with heart-shaped leaves and plushy flowers in long slender drooping tails. Plants are evergreen; flowering period is October to April. Full sun fall and winter, shade spring and summer; 60 per cent humidity preferred; grow in peatmoss, peatmoss and loam, or equal parts loam, peatmoss and sand; plants wilt easily so keep soil evenly moist in spring and summer, water moderately during fall and winter.
Plants under 18 months of age do better at the 65 F night temperature, but mature plants get along nicely at 55 F. Propagate by 4-inch cuttings taken from almost-mature growth at any time of year, in sand or vermiculite in an enclosed case with 70 to 75 F bottom heat until cuttings are rooted.
A. hispida, REDHOT-CATTAIL, CHINILLE-PLANT, green leaves, bright red or purple flowers (see Color Plate IV); A. hispida alba, green leaves and creamy pinkish-white flowers; A. Wilkesiana Macafeana, COPPER-LEAF, bronzy green leaves marked with crimson and bronze, reddish flowers not especially attractive.