Lapageria rosea (Chilean bell flower)
Plant of the month: January
Terrace area – behind parrot cages
With extravagant, rose-pink flowers contrasting dramatically with rich green foliage, this evergreen climber is certainly one of the garden’s gems. The name Lapageria commemorates Josephine Lapagerie, the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte and an enthusiastic patron of botany. Lapageria is native to South America, and in Chile, it is the national flower. The species climbs naturally through the branches of shrubs and trees in moist forest habitats, and is pollinated by hummingbirds. Sadly, the plant is now endangered in the wild, through over-collection and forest clearance.