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.

Bouvardia ternifolia (Cav.) Schldl. var. splendens

See Bouvardia ternifolia (Cav.) Schltdl.  for a description of the species.  ‘Bouvardias are grown in the greenhouse and were once very popular.  Many of the old florists kinds are supposed to be hybrids.’  [Hortus Second].  Scarlet flowers.  [JD].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Bouvardia triphylla splendens, with scarlet flowers, was introduced from Mexico in 1838.  [PD].  Johnson’s Dictionary lists Bouvardia splendens as a true species, also with scarlet flowers, introduced in 1834.  This is undoubtedly the plant figured in the Ornamental Flower Garden [OFG f.95/1854] as Bouvardia triphylla Ker var. splendens, synonym B. splendens Graham: ‘This very handsome plant is certainly a variety of B. triphylla, from which it differs in its more scarlet, brighter, and larger flowers, its more pubescent surface, its more vigorous habit, and in the deep purple stain upon all its branches.’  Similar sentiments were expressed in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine [BM t.3781/1840].  It is figured in the Botanical Register under the name Bouvardia triphylla var. splendens [BR f.37/1840].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [H.30/1850].  It was requested of Loddiges’ nursery on 1st February, 1849, presumably the source. [MP A2933-1, p.185].


Published Feb 04, 2009 - 04:58 PM | Last updated Feb 07, 2010 - 04:59 PM

The image depicts flowering stem with lance-shaped leaves and upright scarlet flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3781, 1841

Bouvardia ternifolia (Cav.) Schldl. var. splendens | BM t.3781/1840 | BHL

Family Rubiaceae
Region of origin

USA, Southern and Central America



  • Bouvardia splendens Graham
  • Bouvardia triphylla var. splendens (Graham) Lindl.
Common Name

Scarlet Bouvardia

Name in the Camden Park Record

Bouvardia splendens 

Confidence level high