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AESCHYNANTHUS radicans

Image of Aeschynanthus radicans

James H. Schutte

Family

Gesnariaceae

Botanical Name

AESCHYNANTHUS radicans

Plant Common Name

Lipstick Basket Vine, Lipstick Plant

General Description

Vibrant lipstick-red flowers adorn the sprawling stems of this tree-dweller ("epiphyte") from moist forests of Malaysia. In nature it grows in trunk crotches and other arboreal niches where leaf litter accumulates.

Pairs of glossy deep green leaves crowd the long, lax stems of this evergreen perennial. They may blush burgundy-purple in relatively hot, sunny sites. Pairs of dark red to nearly black buds develop at the branch tips, opening into tubular, hairy, vivid red blooms with five lobes, the top two lobes forming a "hood." Flowering occurs sporadically year-round, but usually peaks in mid-spring to midsummer. The flowers are a favorite of hummingbirds.

Lipstick plant requires warmth, humidity, bright indirect light, and a moist porous planting medium (such as coarse composted bark). Use it in the garden in tropical, frost-free climates, or as a houseplant in colder regions. Water freely in spring and summer, but more sparingly in cooler seasons. Lipstick vine looks charming growing on tropical tree branches or cascading from hanging baskets.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    11 - 15

  • Plant Type

    Epiphyte

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    1"-8" / 2.5cm - 20.3cm

  • Width

    2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Southeastern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Prostrate/Trailing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Red, Burgundy

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No