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 beautiful Brazilian plant about 6 in. high, having cylindrical leaves with tufts of hairs in the axils and crimson-purple flowers in crowded clusters. There are several varieties with flowers of different colours. The plants are raised from seed sown in heat in spring, and are planted out in the hottest and sunniest places in summer to secure the full opening of the flowers.