R. sanguineum var. haemaleum

This dainty might be better named Black Beauty because its deep red flowers come as close to black as possible. The plant is a rounded shrub with smaller leaves that have a thin white indumentum on the underside. In the wild, there are a number of different forms which may involve some hybridity with others in the neighborhood. We are still sorting out the plants we have grown from seed which we collected in Yunnan in 2000 and 2001.

R. sanguineum var. haemaleum requires perfect drainage and cool roots (that’s temperature, not style). It likes a bright spot, even some sun, but it does not like the afternoon heat. Even, gentle watering is better than a large dose all at once. Go easy with the fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day. It will grow to 3 -4 feet in ten years, and if you can place it so that the afternoon sun shines through the blooms from behind, you will have glowing lanterns of black red.