Plant Description

Aeschynanthus speciosus

Aeschynanthus speciosus

I never really knew what to do with this small shrub, sometimes called the lipstick plant, which a kind friend gave to me a number of years ago, though I had seen it grow in hanging baskets. It has a trailing habit with stems up to 60 cm long. It bears clustered orange and red curved flowers appearing n autumn at the ends of arching stems of glossy, leathery, dark green leaves. Once I learned that in the wild, in Borneo, it grows in the forks of trees, thriving in dappled shade, I decided to attach it to my 'epiphytic stump', to which it soon attached itself very firmly and has never looked back! Regular watering is important in the warmer months. It is frost sensitive. The lipstick plant belongs to the Gesneriaceae family, which includes the non-epiphytic African violet, Streptocarpus and Gloxinia; however, a number of Columnea and Nematanthus species are also epiphytic, including Nematanthus gregarious, the so-called goldfish plant.

 

Aeschynanthus speciosus
Flowers from March to April.
Plant Family: Gesneriaceae

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