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.

Polianthes geminiflora (Lex.) Rose

Frost-tender tuberous perennial with 5-6 narrow, semi-erect, linear, basal leaves, to 40cm long, and leafy stems bearing lax racemes of paired, pendant, tubular, bright orange-red flowers, to 2.5cm long, in summer.  To 70cm.  [RHSE, Hortus]. 


Horticultural & Botanical History

Originally published as Bravoa geminiflora in Novorum Vegetabilium Descriptiones in 1824 [Nov. Veg. Descr. (La Llave & Lexarsa) vol.1, p.6/1824]. Transferred to Polianthes by Rose in 1903 [Contr. U. S. Natl. Herb. vol.8, p.12/1903]. The name Polianthes geminiflora is now generally accepted.

‘A native, according to La Llave and Lexarça, of the mountains of Valladolid and Miciciacan, in Mexico; and it has been sent to Sir Charles Leman from the Real del Monte Mines, whence the roots of our plants were sent by Mr. Repper.  It is easily cultivated in a warm greenhouse, and is an infinitely more beautiful plant than Messrs. link and Otto’s figure, above quoted, represents it to be.  The flowers, usually germinate in the upper part of the raceme, are graceful, always drooping, and richly coloured.’  [BM t.4741/1853].  Introduced to Britain in 1841.  [JD].  FS f.520/1849. 


History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1845 and 1850 catalogues. 



Published Jan 18, 2009 - 11:25 AM | Last updated Feb 06, 2012 - 05:24 PM

The image shows tuberous roots, leaves and orange, tubular flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.4741, 1853.

Bravoa geminiflora Lex. | BM t.4741/1853 | BHL


Family Agavaceae
Region of origin


  • Bravoa geminiflora Lex.
  • Agave duplicata Thiede & Eggli
  • Coetocapnia geminiflora Link & Otto
  • Zetocapnia geminiflora (Lex.) Link & Otto
  • Robynsia geminiflora (Lex.) Drapiez


Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Bravoa geminiflora 


Confidence level high