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 skinneri Lindl.

Today Achimenes skinneri and Achimenes hirsuta are regarded as synonymous but they were usually regarded as separate species in the Victorian literature and for that reason are given separate entries here.  [RHSD]. The Botanical Register describes Achimenes hirsuta as resembling Achimenes pedunculata [Benth.] and, like the latter, it bears bulblets in the axils of its leaves and branches.  [BR f.55/1843].  Its red flowers have a deep rose-coloured border, the lobes notched.  Allen describes Achimenes hirsuta with ‘hairy leaves and rose-coloured flowers with a yellow eye’.

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain as Achimenes skinneri in 1847 [JD]. Achimenes hirsuta was apparently introduced by Messrs. Henderson, nurserymen of Pine Apple Place, in 1842, a portion of dried root having been discovered among a consignment of orchids.  [REF]. Johnson's Dictionary describes Achimenes skinneri as a variety of Achimenes grandiflora.
‘This is not so gay in its flowers as the Achimenes picta (Tab. 4126), nor are the leaves by any means so beautiful; but there is a richness of colour in the large corollas, and a peculiar bloom, very difficult to be imitated by art, which render it worthy a place in every stove.  Its nearest affinity, however, is, as Dr. Lindley, its first describer, observes, with A. pedunculata (Tab. 4077), ” but the flowers are larger, the border is much more flat, and the colour is a deep, rich rose, instead of the clear orange of A. pedunculata.”  Our specimen has even deeper colored blossoms (partaking of a purplish blush, or bloom) than that figured in the Bot. Register: still, it must be acknowledged that the two species have a very close affinity. [BM t.4144/1845].  FC p.274/1843.  BF p.156/1844.  MB p.7/1845.  GRA p.22.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [B.17/1850].  Achimenes skinneri was 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 ‘o’, meaning new to the colony.  [ML A1980-3].


Published Aug 26, 2009 - 09:47 AM | Last updated Aug 24, 2011 - 03:05 PM

Shown is an Achimenes with hairy leaves and rose-coloured flowers with a yellow eye.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.4144, 1845.

Achimenes skinneri Lindl. | BM t.4144/1845 | BHL


Family Gesneriaceae
Region of origin


  • Achimenes hirsuta Lindl.


Common Name

Achimenes, Hot water plant, Cupid’s bow

Name in the Camden Park Record

Achimenes Skinneri  


Confidence level high