This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol2", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
A fairly good trade is done in spring in seeds, and later on in small plants in pots or boxes. A. melancolicus will grow 3 ft. high in rich soil and produces large tail-like masses of small flowers. A. caudatus ("Love-lies-bleeding") grows 2-3 ft. high, and has long tassels of deep-crimson flower spikes. There are several colour varieties including a yellow one; and one called gibbosus, in which the little flowers are collected in separate clusters on the drooping spikes. A. hypochondriacus - the "Prince's Feather" - has deep carmine flowers arranged on dense erect spikes, and has leaves with a purple under surface varying to deep purple all over. A. tricolor has the leaves tinted with reddish purple or deep carmine from base to middle, the upper half being yellow tipped with green. There are several forms of it. A. salicifolius is remarkable for its masses of very narrow, wavy, and twisted leaves of a bronzy green, turning to a bright red at the base with age. A. sanguineus has blood-red foliage, and has a dwarf variety - nanus - still deeper in colour. A. speciosus grows from 3 to 4 ft. high, and has leaves tinged with red and large feathery plumes of deep carmine purple. The variety aureus has yellow plumes.