Cupheas (which belonged to the family of loosestrifes) were less popular in late Victorian times than they had been earlier in the nineteenth century – the one pictured to the left was called the Crystal Palace cuphea which dates it to the mid-1850s, and it was apparently extensively used as a bedding plant in the middle of the century.
Stock was generally raised from cuttings taken the previous autumn and planted out in the bed in early spring when it benefited from a light pruning to make it grow bushier. It also did very well in the greenhouse as a winter flower.
The most widely used cupheas in Victorian times were the Cuphea silenoides, the C. miniata, lanceolata, Jorullensis, purpurea, cinnabarina and verticillata.
Information and image taken from F. Edward Hulme and Shirley Hibberd, Familiar Garden Flowers (Cassell, Peter, Galpin and Co.: London: c. 1890), 5 vols.