Sunday, 9 November 2008

Thunbergia coccinea


Photographed in late October 2008 this flowering vine has bloomed at Monserrate for at least eighty years. First mentioned by Walter Oates in his article published by the Gardeners Chronicle in the 1920s.

Gerald Luckhurst
Oct. 2008

Thunbergia coccinea
Tropical jungle flowering vine, pendant scarlet flowers from late autumn and through the winter. Vigorous evergreen tree climber for warm frost-free position. Originally introduced from Nepal (Nepal eastwards to Burma, also grows in W. China, Indo-China and Java).

Seeds were sent to Kew from the Calcutta Botanic Garden around 1825 by Nathaniel Wallich and grown in "festoons" in around the gallery of the Palm House. It was rarely grown in amateur stove houses because of generous growth and shy flowering .

N. P. Manandhar Plants and People of Nepal gives habitat as "moist and shady places at 300-1800 m". The flowers are cooked as a vegetable, juice of the plant is applied to cuts and wounds and the root is chewed to treat boils on the tongue. The vine is used for binding.

Thunbergia coccinea Wall. ex D. Don, ; Prodromus Florae Nepalensis 120 (1825).

formerly known as
Hexacentris coccinea (Wall. ex D. Don) Nees in Wall., Pl. Asiat. Rar. 3:78. 1832.
Flemingia coccinea Hamilton

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