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.

Dichroa febrifuga Lour.

Frost tender, smooth-branched shrub with opposite, lance-shaped, coarsely toothed leaves and terminal rounded panicles of bluish flowers, sometimes pink, followed by blue berries.  To 2m.  [RHSD]. 

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘This new and interesting Genus was found by Dr. Wallich, inhabiting barren, stony, and mountainous places near Bechiaco, in Nepal, and by him introduced to the Royal Gardens at Kew [as Adamia cyuanea]; whence a flowering specimen, accompanied by a drawing from which the annexed figure of the natural size was taken, were kindly communicated, by W. T. Aiton, Esq.  Dr. Wallich characterises it as an elegant shrub, covered with large panicles of pale blue or pink flowers, which are succeeded by an almost equally ornamental profusion of deep blue berries.’  [BM t.3046/1831].  ‘It certainly is a great ornament, and is a new style of flower among stove plants’.  [Gard. Chron. 1850].  ‘For some time after the introduction of this plant it was generally complained of as being a shy bloomer.  It certainly cannot be considered a first-class plant, the flowers not being highly coloured nor very showy [but] its Hydrangea-like heads of flowers [can be] produced in succession for months and remain long in perfection’.  [Gard. Chron. 1854]. Introduced to Britain in 1844 as Adamia versicolor by Robert Fortune.  [JD].  

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue as Adamia versicolor [T.22/1857] and Adamia cyanea [A.1/1857], which see.  It seems possible that the two forms grown by Macarthur differed in flower colour, that grown as Adamia cyanea having blue flowers and Adamia versicolor having pinkish to blue flowers.


Published Feb 20, 2009 - 04:46 PM | Last updated Jul 22, 2010 - 05:15 PM

Depicted are lance-shaped, toothed leaves and terminal panicles of pink flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3046, 1831.

Dichroa febrifuga Lour. | BM t.3046/1831 | BHL

Family Hydrangeaceae
Region of origin


  • Adamia versicolor Fortune
  • Adamia cyanaea Wall.
Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record

Adamia versicolor

Adamia cyanea 

Confidence level high