A really unusual herbaceous perennial here which we have found to be fully hardy at 200 metres in the Scottish borders.
Coming from Taiwan and nearby parts of China, it is one of only a few hardy rhizomatous gesneriads in the world. Leaves on our clone are purplish and hairy to some degree at around 10 cms long or slightly more and maybe 4 or 5 cms wide. These are held on rigid fleshy stems to around 40 cms high, again purple in colour.
The flowers are the main attraction, tubular open mouthed like foxgloves but the inner is bright red. These plants do have a reputation for being hard to flower. Apparently where there has been success, it's been when they've been kept quite wet through the summer months and with a good root run if grown in pots.