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.

Columnea scandens L.

Frost-tender trailing sub-shrub with 5cm long leaves, with red hairs at the margin, and sparsely hairy, red or yellow flowers, singly or in pairs, from spring to summer.  To 15cm, trailing to 1m.  [RHSE].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘It is a kind of parasitical plant, sometimes reaching into trees in its native places of growth: with us it is a dwarf, and flowers plentifully, in general in autumn.  The blossoms are showy.’  [LBC no.403/1820].  ‘A handsome plant, frequent in the West India Islands, liable to some slight variations in the leaves, and in the depth or paleness of colour of the flowers, but not sufficient to justify the separation of C. rotundfolia, as was done by Salisbury, or the C. speciosa by Presl, as distinct species.  The C. scandens of Sims in Bot. Mag. [BM t.1614/1814], if intended for this plant, is a miserable representation, and widely different in habit and in the colour of the flowers, and in the form of the corolla and calyx.  Our plant succeeds well cultivated in a basket suspended from the roof of a moist stove.  [BM t.5118/1859].  Introduced to Britain in 1759.  [JD].  BR f.805/1824.  BM t.1614/1814.

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [T.334/1857].


Columnea scandens Billb. ex Beurl. (1854) = Columnea billbergiana Beurl.

Columnea rotundfolia Salisb. is considered by some to be a distinct species.

Published Feb 01, 2009 - 01:29 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2010 - 03:30 PM

Depicted is a flowering shoot with glossy leaves and upright red flowers. Loddiges Botanical Cabinet no.403, 1820.

Columnea scandens L. | LBC no.403/1820 |  RBGS

Family Gesneriaceae
Region of origin

Lesser Antilles

Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Columnea scandens 

Confidence level high