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Cupid's Bow, Hot Water Plant, Magic Flower, Mother's Tears, Nut-orchid, Orchid Pansy, Widow's Tears 'Big Purple'


Family: Gesneriaceae (ges-ner-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Achimenes (a-KIM-ih-neez) (Info)
Cultivar: Big Purple
Additional cultivar information:(aka Purple King)




Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)


USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Full Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From herbaceous stem cuttings

By simple layering

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Benton, Arkansas

Brooksville, Florida

Chiefland, Florida

Cottondale, Florida

Deland, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Acworth, Georgia

Colfax, Louisiana

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Goose Creek, South Carolina

Linden, Tennessee

Jacksonville, Texas

Murchison, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 3, 2010, turektaylor from Elizabeth City, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

it's recommended that these are mulched well from zone 8 and up for the winter to guarantee survival.


On Nov 26, 2008, mjsponies from DeLand/Deleon Springs, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is really an easy plant. I have 4 pots of it. One is a clay strawberry pot, and looks really pretty growing out all the spaces on the sides and top. I also have them planted in with my caladium's where they get high shade/filtered sun. Mulch them during winter months and then in March I pull the mulch back and up they come. When the one's in pots go dormant in late fall here in Fl. I stick the pots up under the bench in the barn. In spring I bring them out and either divide the pots then and make another one or repot and when I see new growth start w/ light fertilizer and off they go!!


On Jun 25, 2006, rosemarysims from Mermentau, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:

One of the best of the Achimenes for the shade garden in warm areas, 'Big Purple' can be difficult to find. I've seen it recently called 'Purple King'. This is a draping cultivar that is particularly fine in a pot, a hanging basket or a raised bed in the shade garden, especially among bold ferns and Irises.

Almost all Achimenes are easy from tip cuttings in the hot season. Before the plant blooms, pinch out tips, strip off the bottom leaves and stick in consistently moist but well drained soil.

The plant's rhizomes are formed as, and after the plant has gone dormant (Oct on the gulf coast). They can be dug in late Jan or Feb. You will have scads of 'Big Purple" though other Achimenes are not so prolific. 'Big Purple' has easily identifiable rhizomes wh... read more