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.

Justicia sericea Ruiz & Pav.

Herbaceous plant with pointed oblong leaves and terminal spikes of downy red flowers.  [RHSD].

Horticultural & Botanical History

First botanically described by Ruiz & Pavon in 1797 as Justicia sericea [Flora Peruviana vol.1, p.9, pl.IX/1797] and transferred to Jacobinia by Nees in 1847 [Prod. DC. vol.11, p.332/1847]. However, the earlier name is still generally preferred.

Introduced to Britain in 1816.  [PD].  Figured as Justicia sericea in Ruiz and Pavon’s Flora Peruviana, the illustration used here.

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues as Justicia salicina [T.611/1850].  Obtained from Loddiges’ Nursery, brought out from England by Captain P. P. King.  [ML A1980-3].    It was also requested of Kew Gardens in a letter dated 1st February, 1849 [MP A2933-1, p.177].


This identification is doubtful. There is an unclear relationship between Jacobinia sericea of Nees and Justicia salicina of Jacquin and of Vahl.  The Prodromus systemis naturalis regni vegetabilis of de Candolle [Prod. DC. vol.11, p.332/1847] clearly states that Jacobinia sericea Nees is synonymous with Justicia salicina Vahl. from south east Asia, a plant now considered synonymous with, Rhinacanthus nasutus (L.) Kuntze, which see. For this reason both plants are described in the Hortus.

Published Feb 22, 2010 - 03:12 PM | Last updated Nov 22, 2012 - 10:31 PM

The line drawing shows 2 plants with elliptic leaves and terminal raceme of tubular flowers. Flora Peruviana vol.1, pl.IX, 1797.

Jacobinia sericea Nees | Flora Peruviana vol.1, p.9, pl.IX/1797 | BHL.  Jacobinia sericea is the plant on the right, labelled Justicia sericea.

Family Acanthaceae
Region of origin


  • Jacobinia sericea (Ruiz & Pav.) Nees
  • Jacobinia pubescens Ruiz ex Nees
  • Justicia salicina Jacq.
  • Justicia pubescens Ruiz ex Nees
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Justicia salicina 

Confidence level