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 x sanguinea (Hort. ex Hanst.) Regel ex Hanst.

I have no description of this plant but the name suggests a cultivar or hybrid with a bright red flower.

Horticultural & Botanical History

According to the Gesneriad Register a cultivar sold by Charles Turner in 1857, but otherwise unknown.  [GRA p.36].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [B.16/1850].  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 ‘o’, meaning new to the colony.  A cross is also placed next to the ‘o’, the meaning of which is unclear.  [ML A1980-3].  


Possible, but less likely is Achimenes antirrhinum (DC.) Morton, introduced to England in 1845.  According to Moore the synonym A. atrosanguinea was used in England for A. antirrhinum, a species from Central America, synonyms Achimenes atrosanguinea Hort. ex Regel, A. amoena Van Houtte ex Hanzt.  A rhizomatous perennial with hairy stems to 30cm or more bearing solitary flowers with straw-coloured or yellow corolla tubes with red-brown or purple lines outside, yellow with red lines inside. To 45cm.  [Moore].  Paxton's Dictionary describes the flowers of A. atrosanguinea as white and rose, but the Floricultural Cabinet describes them as a deep blood-red [FC p.194/1847] which accords rather better with the name. 

A. atrosanguinea Lindl. = A. foliosa Morr., a central American species with toothed leaves and solitary, axillary crimson flowers, introduced to Britain in 1848.  This is also a possible identification but the plant sold by Turner is more likely.

Published Aug 26, 2009 - 05:06 PM | Last updated Aug 25, 2011 - 04:15 PM

Family Gesneriaceae
Region of origin

Probably garden origin

  • Achimenes sanguinea Hort.
  • Trevirana x sanguinea Hanst.


Common Name

Achimenes, Hot water plant, Cupid’s bow

Name in the Camden Park Record

Achimenes sanguinea 

Confidence level medium