Attractive plants, with little red and yellow button-shaped flowers. The flowers are edible and come with a bit of a surprise: they have a fizzy effect thanks to high levels of spilanthol. This is a pain-relieving agent which has been used to treat toothache and sore throats.
The flowers can be used in cooking.
Plant out in tubs, pots or into flowerbeds after the risk of frost has passed.
Plants grow to 30-40cm. Pinch out the growing tips to keep the plants looking good and feed with a high potash feed every fortnight to encourage flowering.
Pick the flowers as they appear, by snipping them off with scissors. The more you pick, the more flowers are produced.
These plants are native to tropical forests, so are unlikely to make it through a Manchester winter outside. You can dig the plants up in late autumn (before first frosts) and keep them inside as houseplants over the winter. Or take small cuttings, keep inside and replant outside next year.
(Image: Ahmad Fuad Morad on Flickr)