Calceolaria - Care Guide

Calceolaria - Care Guide

Pouch flower, Slipper flower, Slipperwort

From childhood one of the most treasured plants in my first greenhouse was Calceolaria integrifolia. It grew as a smallish shrub outside the dining room at Caerhays in a border and was easy (even for a youngster) to grow from softwood cuttings. The plant eventually succumbed to a cold winter and my later attempts to establish it outside at Burncoose did not succeed for long although it did well in the conservatory and remains today as a small woody shrub. C. integrifolia originates from Mexico which explains why it is difficult outside; but you do see it from time to time in coastal gardens in Cornwall.

C. integrifolia is an evergreen shrub with grey-green leaves. If grown in a greenhouse and, perhaps, over summered outside in a large pot, it can grow to 3-4ft. The flowers appear in cymes or clusters of 20 to 30 individual flowers and with every bit of extra feeding, loads of water, and consequent growth, new sets of flowers will appear right through the summer. Each individual flower resembles an ovoid bright yellow ‘slipper’ and the effect is stunning. 

Calceolaria ‘Camden Hero’ is one of the cultivars from this species which we have stocked for the last few years. It is even less frost hardy and has a floppy habit which needs support in a pot. The ‘slipper’ flowers are however an attractive orange rather than a golden yellow. These sorts of cultivars are often used in summer bedding layouts by parks and municipal authorities. However ‘Camden Hero’ will overwinter perfectly well under glass and also grow on into a small shrub with the most spectacular flowers.

Propagation from cuttings is just as easy now as it was in my youth. I have not seen C. integrifolia set seed but, then, I have never actually looked!

Visit the Caerhays Castle website
Order the 2022 Burncoose Catalogue
Payment methods accepted
watch us on you tube
Visit Burncoose House - Holiday Accommodation
Burncoose Nurseries: Gwennap, Redruth, Cornwall TR16 6BJ
Telephone: +44 (0) 1209 860316 Email:
© Burncoose Nurseries 1997 - 2022      Website by Forgecom
All plant pictures are copyright © Burncoose Nurseries unless otherwise stated.
No rights are given to download any of our pictures and use them (for personal or professional use) without our consent.