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.

Pulchranthus variegatus (Aubl.) B.R.Baum, Reveal & Nowicke

Frost tender evergreen shrub with red striped flowers.  To 60cm.  [JD, PD].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Described by Aublet in 1775 as Justicia variegata [Hist. Pl. Guiane vol.1 p12/1775]. Placed in the newly proposed genus Pulchranthus as Pulchranthus variegatus by Baum, Reveal and Nowicke in 1983 [Systematic Botany vol.8, p.216/1983]. This is the name now generally accepted for this plant.

Introduced to Britain in 1825.  [JD].

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [T.615/1857].  Seemingly now rare in cultivation.


‘The Justicia variegata of catalogues is probably not the J. variegata of Aublet and the botanists, but is very likely a variegated-leaved form of some Jacobinia.’ [Cyclopedia of American Horticulture vol.2, p.851/1909]. It is possible that this was also the case in England decades earlier. A specimen of ‘Justicia variegata, with dark blotched leaves’ exhibited at a meeting of the Royal Horticultural Society suggesting that this was the case [Proc. RHS vol.3, p.281/1863].

Included on the 1997 IUCN red list of threatened plants as an endangered species.

Published Feb 22, 2010 - 03:40 PM | Last updated Nov 22, 2012 - 10:32 PM

Family Acanthaceae
Region of origin


  • Justicia variegata Aubl.
  • Adhatoda variegata (Aubl.) Nees
  • Gendarussa variegata (Aubl.) Hochst. ex Nees
  • Hemigraphis prunelloides S.Moore
  • Odontonema variegatum (Aubl.) Kuntze
  • Thyrsacanthus variegatus (Aubl.) Nees


Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Justicia variegata

Confidence level high