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.

Pseuderanthemum bicolor Radlk.

Frost tender evergreen perennial shrub with ovate leaves, to 20cm long, and salverform white flowers, spotted with crimson-purple, in summer.  To 15cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

First botanically described as Justicia bicolor by Sims in 1811. ‘A native of the Island of Luconia, in the vicinity of Manila, from whence it was introduced to Kew Garden by Mr. William Kerr [as Justicia bicolor].’  [BM t.1423/1811].  Introduced to Britain in 1802.  [JD]. 

Radlkofer proposed the genus Pseuderanthemum in 1884 and formalised it in 1895 [Naturlichen Pflanzenfamilien vol.4(3b), p330/1895]. He also proposed the combinations Pseuderanthemum bicolor and Pseuderanthemum aspersum at this time.

Merril proposed the name Pseuderanthemum pulchellum (Hort.) Merr. in 1912, recognising the horticultural name Eranthemum pulchellum published in Gartenmag. (1810) 176. t. 17, formalized in Prodromus systematis naturalis regni vegetabilis of De Candolle [Prod. DC. vol.xi, p.456/1845].

Apparently introduced to Britain as Eranthemum aspersum much later.  ‘A remarkably-beautiful stove shrub, sent from the Solomon Islands by Mr. John Veitch during his Australian voyage, and communicated to the Royal Gardens in 1867, without name, where it flowered fully in March of the present year.  It appears undescribed, but is manifestly closely allied to E. Cooperianum (Tab. nost. 5467) and E. tuberculatum (Tab. nost. 5405).  It differs remarkably from any species known to me in the very straight, slender corolla-tube, and white limb, curiously speckled with purple, all but one lip-like lobe, which is almost wholly purple, giving the corolla-limb the appearance of an Orchid flower.’  [BM t.5711/1868 as Eranthemum aspersum].

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [T.418/1857].  Eranthemum bicolor and Eranthemum sp. first appeared in the record as a handwritten note in an 1850 catalogue in the Mitchell Library collection and inscribed on the front Wm. Macarthur, 23rd Dec. 1854.  [ML 635.9m].


Published Feb 22, 2010 - 10:58 AM | Last updated Apr 14, 2011 - 02:55 PM

Figured are ovate leaves and salverform white flowers, spotted with crimson-purple.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1423, 1811.

Pseuderanthemum asperum Radlk. | BM t.1423/1811 as Justicia bicolor | BHL

Family Acanthaceae
Region of origin

South east Asia and Pacific Islands

  • Pseuderanthemum aspersum Radlk.
  • Pseuderanthemum pulchellum (Hort.) Merr.
  • Justicia bicolor Sims
  • Justicia gendarussa Blanco
  • Eranthemum bicolor Schrank
  • Eranthemum aspersum Hook.f.
  • Eranthemum pulchellum Hort.
  • Eranthemum haenkeanum Nees
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Eranthemum bicolor 

Confidence level high