Achimenes is a well-known and widely grown genus which has from a taxonomic point of view been quite stable — it has not been affected by recent taxonomic changes. Species are terrestrial herbs with scaly rhizomes, and stems are unbranched, and may be erect or decumbent (trailing). Achimenes is distributed from Mexico through Central America, with some presence in the Caribbean and northern South America.

Achimenes have been in cultivation for many years, with some cultivars (e.g. A. ‘Ambroise Verschaffelt’) dating to well over 100 years ago. It is a widely beloved horticultural subject with many hybrids and intergeneric hybrids.