THE CHILEAN BELLFLOWER - Lapageria rosea

The Chilean bellflower - Lapageria rosea


The Chilean bellflower is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful flowering vines in the world, so much so that it has been chosen as the national flower of Chile. It is native to the forests of southern Chile, namely the Valdivian temperate rain forest. Lapageria rosea is the only species within the genus Lapageria.

The Chilean bellflower- Lapageria rosea
The plant was introduced to Europe by William Lobb during his plant collecting expedition to the Valdivian temperate rain forests in 1845–1848. William Lobb (1809 – 3 May 1864) was a Cornish plant collector, employed by Veitch Nurseries of Exeter. While its exact date of discovery is unknown, records state that it was grown in Royal botanic gardens at Kew in 1847.

Lapageria rosea is an evergreen climbing plant that can reach over 10 metres in height. Strangely, the vines twine counter-clockwise in the Southern hemisphere and clockwise when grown in the Northern hemisphere. This may be due to the perceived change in travel of the Sun.

The large, rose-crimson flowers have six thick, waxy tepals which are red, and faintly spotted with small white blotches. The flowers are most frequently produced in late summer and autumn, although they can be produced at other times of the year depending on the climate.

The fruit is an elongated berry with a tough skin containing numerous small seeds about the size of a tomato seed. Each seed is covered in an edible fleshy coating known as an aril.

In the wild the plant is pollinated by hummingbirds.

The Chilean bellflower gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

For related article click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW BEAUMONTIA GRANDIFLORA
HOW TO GROW LAPAGERIA ROSEA FROM SEED
How to Grow the Morning Glory from Seed
The Chilean bellflower - lapageria rosea
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