Solandra grandiflora. Photo by Tony Garn

Solandra grandiflora

Solandra grandiflora has risen from ground level of the temperate lands house to adorn the railings of the warm weather walkway. This tropical liana is covered in tubular yellow flowers that exude a rich powerful heavy perfume. This strengthens and becomes more intense as darkness falls, attracting the Hawkmoths which pollinate this species. A strong growing plant requiring substantial supporting vegetation, or as with the specimen at RBGE, the railings on the warm weather walkway. In the wild it can meander for 15 – 30 metres.

Liana is a description of a group of tropical woody plants that use trees and other vegetation to reach sunlight from the forest floor. They grow up, through and over supporting vegetation binding tropical biodiversity together giving strength through tropical storms to weaker elements of the vegetation and facilitating access corridors through forests for wildlife by joining the canopy together.

The flower develops as a greenish yellow elongating bud with prominent veining. At maturity within the chalice shaped flower are dark striations that run to the depths of the corolla tube. Copious amounts of powdery white pollen drop onto this from the anthers.