Brunfelsia hopeana Benth.

Frost tender, slender, spreading shrub with elliptic leaves, to 7.5cm,  and usually solitary, bluish-violet or purple flowers with a whitish-yellow tube.  To 50cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘The specimen from which the accompanying figure was taken, flowered in the stove of Robert Barclay, Esq., at Bury Hill.  It was first sent from Brazil, by Marshall Beresford, to his sister Mrs. Thomas Hope, of Deepden, Surrey, who has thus been the means of introducing to our stoves a most interesting and desirable plant; for not only are the flowers of a rich purple-blue colour, but they are excessively fragrant.’  [BM t.2829/1828].

‘Piso and Marcgraf two centuries ago […] affirm that the woods were perfumed with the scent of the flowers, which resemble that of the violet.’  [LBC no.1332/1829].  First cultivated in Europe in 1826.  [Don].

History at Camden Park

First listed in the 1845 catalogue [T.458/1845], the plant part of a consignment sent from Kew in November 1843 by John Bidwill [AJCP].  This early importation was probably lost as  ‘Franciscea uniflora, any other good species’ was included among desiderata in a letter to John Lindley dated 15th February 1848 [A2933-1, p.157] and to Kew Gardens at about the same time [A2933-1, p.165].  It was requested again of Lindley on 1st February, 1849 [MP A2933-1 p.182a] and of Kew on the same date [MP A2933-1 p.177], this time successfully, and was brought out from England by Captain P. P. King.  Macarthur noted that it was new to the colony.  [ML A1980-3].  It was also requested of Loddiges on 1st February, 1849 [A2933-1, p.185], again successfully, and also brought out by King.  


Published Feb 27, 2010 - 03:37 PM | Last updated Feb 27, 2010 - 03:43 PM

Figured are ovate-lanceolate leaves and solitary, terminal purple salverform flowers.  Curtis' Botanical Magazine t.2829, 1828.

Brunfelsia hopeana Benth. | BM t.2829/1828 | BHL

More details about Brunfelsia hopeana Benth.
Family Solanaceae
Region of origin

Brazil, West Indies

  • Brunfelsia uniflora (Pohl.) D.Don
  • Franciscea uniflora Pohl. 
Common Name

Mariac, Vegetable mercury

Name in the Camden Park Record

Franciscea uniflora 

Confidence level high