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AESCHYNANTHUS x splendidus

Image of Aeschynanthus x splendidus

James Burghardt

Family

Gesnariaceae

Botanical Name

AESCHYNANTHUS x splendidus

Plant Common Name

Hybrid Basket Vine

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Aeschynanthus is a genus of approximately 140 species of evergreen tropical flowering plants native to the warm, moist regions of Asia and the Pacific Islands. These herbaceous gesneriads are often called lipstick plants due to their showy flowers that look like lipstick rising from a tube.

They may be shrubs or climbers and many are epiphytic (tree-dwelling) with pendent stems. The leaves are usually leathery or fleshy, opposite on the stem and come in pairs. The form and appearance varies considerably from upright to climbing or hanging.

The brilliant flowers of Aeschynanthus are what make these plants most desirable. They are produced singly or in clusters near the branch tips. The complex flowers are generally tubular, with an outermost calyx that often contrasts in color. The fused inner petals have 2 lips, are sometimes hooded and look like lipstick extending from a tube. The blooms can be red, orange, yellow or green. The fruits are long, linear capsules that expel many seeds strung with long silken hairs that catch the wind.

Commonly grown species include the orange and red-purple flowered lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus lobbianus) which is trailing and cultivated in hanging baskets. The upright, epiphytic Aeschynanthus hildebrandii has dark green oval leaves and produces orange and green blooms sporadically throughout the year. The summer-blooming red bugle vine (Aeschynanthus pulcher) from Java is also epiphytic and has beautiful, hooded scarlet blooms with green outer petals and yellow throats.

Culture and hardiness vary by species. Most Aeschynanthus are frost tender and grown in warm greenhouses, conservatories and sun rooms where not hardy. They prefer soils with ample drainage and bright filtered light. Very low light conditions inhibit blooming. Allow the plants to dry between watering and keep them on the dry side in winter. In frost-free zones, lipstick plants make lovely groundcovers and container specimens for shade.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    14 - 15

  • Native To

    Asia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia

Growing Conditions

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Red, Purple, Orange

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Evergreen

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Groundcover, Houseplant, Tropical

  • Attracts

    Birds