Lapageria rosea (Chilean bell flower)

Plant of the month: January

Lapageria rosea
Lapageria rosea (Chilean bell flower) Lapageria rosea (Chilean bell flower)

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.