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 longiflora DC.

Frost-tender, free-flowering, trailing, rhizomatous perennial with leaves dark, metallic green above, often flushed red beneath, and violet, or lavender to pale purple flowers with a golden throat and yellow tube, to 6cm long, from summer to autumn.  To 40cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

According to the British Florist it was introduced to Britain in 1841 by the London Horticultural Society, via the Society’s collector, Hartweg.  There are numerous garden cultivars.  [BF pl.33/1842.  BF p.156/1844].  ‘More beautiful than the gayest of the stove herbaceous plants, as easy to cultivate as the commonest of perennials, more prodigal of flowers than the finest of the Gloxinias, ever blooming, except during the few months when it sinks into its winter rest, Achimenes longiflora is an invaluable gift by the [Horticultural] Society to every one who has a warm greenhouse.’  [BM t.3980/1842].  ‘Of the numerous fine plants lately introduced into the country, the two Achimenes figured in the present Number [longiflora and rosea] are among the most beautiful, and may be justly styled two of the most charming plants in our garden.’  [FC p.1/1842].  Flore des Serres figured the variety alba, pure white with crimson veins in the throat.  [FS f.536/1849].  Of early forms Paxton's Dictionary lists A. longiflora plena, with violet flowers, introduced in 1842 from Guatemala.  BR f.19/1842.  MB p.152/1842.  GRA p.25.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [B.11/1850].  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 26, 2009 - 11:34 AM | Last updated Aug 25, 2011 - 02:36 PM

Figured is an Achimenes with hairy leaves and pale violet flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3980, 1842.

Achimenes longiflora DC. | BM t.3980/1842 | BHL


Family Gesneriaceae
Region of origin

Central America

  • Achimenes haageana Otto & Regel


Common Name

Achimenes, Hot water plant, Cupid’s bow

Name in the Camden Park Record

Achimenes longiflora


Confidence level high