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.

Calandrinia discolor Lindl.

Annual or perennial, leaves purple beneath, flowers bright light purple, to 5cm across in long racemes.  To 45cm.  [RHSD].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Among the many other novel plants which adorned the Glasgow Botanic Garden in the year 1824, three species of Calandrina were not amongst the least beautiful, C. grandiflora of Dr. Lindley, which we received from the Horticultural Society of London; C. speciosa, for which we are indebted indebted to Messrs. Young of Epsom; and C. discolor, from Mr. Fischer’s collection at Gottingen, the subject of the present plate.  I regret that of the two last I am ignorant of their native country: but if we may judge from their general affinity with the C. grandiflora, they are from Chili.  Similar, however, as they are in aspect, they are totally different as species.  They succeed well, treated as greenhouse plants, or better still if planted during the summer months in the open border, where both the flowers and foliage attain a larger size and brighter hue.’  [BM t.3357/1834].  Introduced to Britain in 1834.  [PD].  

History at Camden Park

Handwritten note in an 1850 catalogue [MP A2947A].  It did not subsequently appear in the 1857 catalogue but was almost certainly grown in the gardens.


Calandrinia discolor Lindl. is probably the same plant although the figure is markedly different.  It is of interest that the Botanical Register makes no reference to the Botanical Magazine article and figure of some five years earlier.  ‘A most beautiful plant, introduced from the Berlin Botanic Garden in 1835, by the Horticultural Society, and though apparently a half-shrubby plant, capable of being treated with advantage as an annual.  In all its habits and in its appearance it much resembles C. grandiflora, but is much handsomer, the flowers being three times as large, and remaining expanded all day long, whether in sunshine or shade, while those of C. grandiflora open only in the sun-shine.  It has probably been published in some continental botanical work, but I have not succeeded in meeting with any account of it.  It is a very showy half-hardy species, growing about one and a half or two feet high, in any rich -garden soil, and flowering from the end of June until destroyed by the frost in autumn.’  [BR f.4/1839].  

Published Feb 06, 2009 - 02:01 PM | Last updated Jul 29, 2010 - 05:30 PM

The illustration shows leaves, red at the back, and single rose-coloured flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3357, 1834.

Calandrinia discolor Lindl. | BM t.3357/1834 | BHL

Family Portulacaceae
Region of origin


  • Calandrinia elegans Hort. ex Vilm.
  • Calandrinia lindleyana Hort. ex Vilm.
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Calandrinia discolor 

Confidence level high