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.

Eustoma russellianum (Hook.) G.Don

Upright annual or biennial with oblong leaves and pale purple flowers.  To 90cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1835.  [PD].  ‘Specimens and seeds of this plant were among the last of the many novelties that were sent home by the lamented Drummond from San Félipe de Austin, Texas, in 1835.  They were accomanied by the remark, “not excelled in beauty by any plant:” and truly one has only to see this species of Lisianthus in a flowering state, to be assured of the accuracy of the observation.  It was shortly before the period of the arrival of these seeds and specimens, that His Grace the Duke of Bedford, with his wonted liberality, contributed a sum of money, which, had the receiver continued in health, would have materially assisted in forwarding his views in Florida, but which was no less available in a period of pain and sickness immediately preceding his lamented death in Cuba; and I am sure that in dedicating this splendid plant to so distinguished a patron of Science, I shall have the approbation of every Botanist and of every lover of Horticulture.  Although apparently an annual in the wild state, yet no specimen flowered till 1837, and then for the first time in the greenhouse at Bothwell Castle, under the skilful management of Mr. Turnbull.  It was there that the drawing here figured was made, in August of that year. Shortly after, its lovely blossoms were produced in the Glasgow Botanic Garden: and so long-lived were they, that we have remarked a single blossom continuing in great beauty for a period of three weeks.  I think there can be no doubt but, under proper management, by forcing in the early spring, and planting out in the open border, this plant will there perfect its flowers as readily as the Phlox Drummondii.’  [BM t.3626/1838].

History at Camden Park

Seed ordered from Hurst and McMullen, Seedsmen and Florists of London, on 8th April 1846 [MP A2933-1, p.132].  It was also included among desiderata in a letter to John Lindley dated 15th February 1848 although not marked ‘arrived’ on Macarthur’s copy [MP A2933-1, p.157].  It was also requested of Loddiges’ nursery on 13th February, 1848 [MP A2933-1, p.172].  It was requested of Lindley again on 1st February, 1849 [MP A2933-1, p.182a].  It seems very likely that plants or seeds were obtained from one of these sources although it did not appear in subsequent catalogues.


Published Feb 08, 2009 - 02:44 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2010 - 02:55 PM

Depicted are lance-shaped leaves and upright, mauve-purple, trumpet-shaped flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3626, 1838.

Eustoma russellianum (Hook.) G.Don | BM t.3626/1838 | BHL

Family Gentianaceae
Region of origin

North America

  • Lisianthus russellianus Hook.
  • Eustoma exaltum ssp. russellianum (Hook.) Kartesz
Common Name

Prairie gentian, Texas bluebell

Name in the Camden Park Record

Lisianthus russelliana 

Confidence level high