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 mexicana Benth. & Hook.

Frost-tender rhizomatous perennial with paired, ovate, toothed, hairy leaves, to 12cm long, and flower stems to 60cm, bearing a solitary purple or blue flower with a pale mauve throat and spreading lobes, to 5cm long.  [RHSD].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘The roots of both varieties here enumerated were presented to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew by Frederick Scheer, Esq., who received them in 1850, through J. Potts, Esq., from Chihuahua, one of the northern states of Mexico.  They began to flower with us towards the autumn of 1852, but although they attracted considerable attention at that time, we were not aware until now that these plants were really so ornamental as they are, and that they could be so much improved by cultivation, especially as Mr. Potts in his original memorandum terms the blossoms “little bell-shaped flowers.”  Having now well-grown specimens before us, we have no hesitation in predicting that Scheeria Mexicana will become a universal favourite, and that in a few years it will be found in every garden.

The genus Scheeria is named in compliment to Frederick Scheer, Esq., to whom our gardens are indebted for the introduction of several other ornamental plants, and to whose successful study of Cactaceae science owes many interesting additions.  The genus is closely allied to Gloxinia (Salisia, Reygel) and Achimenes; from the former, considering as its type the Gloxinia maculata, L’Herit. (Martynia perennis, Linn.), upon which the genus was founded.  It differs in having the spur (gibba) on the upper side of the corolla more developed and no inflation on the under side; while from the latter (Achimenes) it is easily distinguished by its truly infundibuliform, not bilobed, stigma.  In habit it resembles the genus Locheria, Reg., which includes the Achimenes hirsuta, A. pedunculata, and A. multiflora of botanists.’  [BM t.4743/1853].

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [B.115/1857].


The identification of Macarthur’s Gesnera Mexicana as Achimenes mexicana Benth. & Hook. must be regarded as doubtful.  I have found no record of a plant under the name of Gesnera mexicana.

Published Aug 31, 2009 - 03:40 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2010 - 03:03 PM

Figured are  ovate, toothed, hairy leaves and purple flowers with long tubes.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.4743, 1853.

Achimenes mexicana Benth. & Hook. | BM t.4743/1853 | BHL

Family Gesneriaceae
Region of origin


  • Achimenes scheerii Hort.
  • Scheeria mexicana Seem.
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Gesnera Mexicana 

Confidence level medium