Plant of the month:
This clump forming, rosetted, perrenial succulent hails from Mexico and is sure to stop you in your tracks when you encounter it on the terrace. Lance shaped grey-green leaves, becoming glaucous with age, are surmounted in summer with sci-fi looking (think Little Shop of Horrors!) panicles, up to 3m long, of vivid red bracts and yellow-tinted, bright green flowers with spreading lobes, which arch outwards – truly spectacular! Given the right position with nearby heat and good drainage, it will get through a hard winter (as our specimen proves) but younger plants may need a little protection until established.