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.

Thunbergia coccinea Wallich

Frost tender evergreen, perennial, twining climber with tubular orange-red flowers in loose, pendant racemes from winter to spring.  To 8m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

First botanically described by Wallich in 1825 [Prodromus Florae Nepalensis p.120/1825].

‘It requires the stove, and is a climbing plant, which flowers very freely in the autumn. […] It is certainly a charming acquisition, the blossoms being particularly beautiful and striking.’  [LBC no.1195, 1827].  ‘This remarkable and beautiful plant was sent to this country nearly forty years ago, by Dr. Wallich, from the Calcutta Botanic Gardens, but owing to the great size it attains, it is seldom seen in full magnificence in our stoves. It has long been cultivated in the Royal Gardens, where it festooned for many years a great part of the gallery of the Palm House; but although it annually produced abundance of racemes, the flowers usually dropped off before expanding.  We are indebted to Mr. Veitch, of Exeter, for the specimen here figured, which he raised from seeds imported from India.’ Introduced to Britain about 1823. [BM t.5124/1859].

History at Camden Park

Desideratum to Loddiges’ nursery, 6th January 1845, together with grandiflora, fragrans, alata and ‘any other handsome sorts.’  [MP A2933-2, p.28].  This is a possible source but it did not appear in the catalogues until 1857 [H.221/1857].


Published Feb 15, 2009 - 01:47 PM | Last updated May 04, 2011 - 03:04 PM

Climber with heart-shaped leaves and bright red tubular flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.5124, 1859.

Thunbergia coccinea Wallich | BM t.5124/1859 | BHL

Family Acanthaceae
Region of origin


  • Hexacentris coccinea Nees
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record
  • Thunbergia coccinea 

Confidence level high