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.
An ornamental tropical plant largely grown as a half-hardy annual for bedding-out purposes during the summer months. The plants are valued for the large, lobed, and ornamental leaves, which assume tints of bronze and purple during the season, and give a subtropical effect. The best varieties are borboniensis; Duchess of Edinburgh; Cambodgensis, nearly black; Gibsoni, deep maroon; sanguineus, with red stalks; and zarizibarensis, of which there are several forms.