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.

Cobaea scandens Cav.

Frost tender, very vigorous, evergreen, perennial climber, with fragrant flowers, opening white and ageing to purple, from summer to autumn.  To 20m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘This elegant climber promises to be one of the greatest ornaments of our conservatories, growing with astonishing rapidity and easily propagated by cuttings.  It appears to have been first raised in Europe, in the royal garden at Madrid.’  Certainly grown in England by 1784, as it flowered in July of that year at Mr. Woodford’s, Vauxhall.  [BM t.851/1805].  Introduced to Britain in 1792, probably from the Royal Gardens of Madrid. Johnson’s, ‘Curtis’s Botanical Magazine’. ‘Andrews’ Repository’ claims that it probably first flowered in the garden of Charles Long of Bromley Hill in 1803.  The variety folliis albo marginatis is figured in Flore des Serres [FS f.1467/1859].  Don.  ABR pl.392/1804.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [H.80/1843].  A plant was presented to the Sydney Botanic Garden on December 24th 1845 [RBGS AB].


Published Feb 07, 2009 - 02:56 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2010 - 02:47 PM

The illustration shows leaves and tendrils and large purple, cup-shaped flower.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t. 851, 1805.

Cobaea scandens Cav. | BM t.851/1805 | BHL 

Family Cobaeaceae
Region of origin


Common Name

Cathedral bell, Cup and saucer plant

Name in the Camden Park Record

Cobaea scandens 

Confidence level high