Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Achimenes grandiflora DC.

Frost-tender, erect, rhizomatous perennial, with leaves dark green above and flushed red beneath, and solitary or paired, reddish-purple flowers with white eyes and purple-dotted throats, from summer to autumn.  To 60cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

It was described, but not figured, in the Botanical Register: ‘This is probably as fine a species as A. longiflora.  A plant of it was received from M. van Houtte, nurseryman at Ghent, by the Horticultural Society.  It appears to have received in Belgium the barbarous name of A. Ghiesbrechtianum; we really must congratulate ourselves that the previous publication of a name by M. DeCandolle, has spared us this infliction.’  [BR misc.59/1842].  It was later figured in the same journal.  [BR f.11/1845].  Paxton’s Magazine of Botany records its discoverers as Schiede and Deppe, who described it under the name of Trevirania grandiflora in 1833.  It was apparently introduced to the European nursery trade by Louis van Houtte in 1842.  [MB p.146/1843].  ‘The drawing of this fine plant was sent to us in January last, by M. Van Houtte, of Ghent. Never having seen a flowering specimen of the plant, I abstain from offering any description.  It would seem to vie with A. longiflora in the size and beauty of its flowers.  Their colour is much more verging to red, and the leaves are rusty-coloured below.  It was discovered by Scheide and Deppe in Mexico, growing in shady places, near the Hacienda de la Laguna, in Barranza de Loselos’. [BM t.4012/1843].  FC p.121/1843.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues [B.7/1845].  Probably obtained from Loddiges’ Nursery, either in a case of plants brought back by Bidwill or in a direct importation in late 1844.  Concerning the latter Macarthur wrote on 6th January 1845 that he now had Achimenes [MP A2933-2, p.28].  A letter to Bidwill on the 25th November makes it clear that A. grandiflora was included [MP A2933-2, p.98].  It was also obtained from Kew Gardens, brought out from England by Captain P. P. King in 1849.  In the confirmatory list sent by Macarthur to King it is marked with an ‘x’, meaning common before or long introduced.  [ML A1980-3].  


Published Aug 25, 2009 - 05:19 PM | Last updated Aug 25, 2011 - 02:43 PM

Figured is an Achimenes with toothed leaves and reddish flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.4012, 1843.

Achimenes grandiflora DC. | BM t.4012/1843 | BHL

Family Gesneriaceae
Region of origin

Central America

  • Achimenes ghiesbrechtiana Hort. ex Regel
  • Achimenes ghiesbrechtii Lindl.
Common Name

Achimenes, Hot water plant, Cupid’s bow

Name in the Camden Park Record

Achimenes grandiflora

Confidence level