In full bloom the Chilean Bell Flower, Chile’s national flower, Lapageria rosea, is a stunning visual treat. Native to evergreen forests in Chile and Argentina where it climbs through the tree canopy here it experiences a cool moist root run and dappled sun on the foliage, replicate this for successful cultivation.
There are two plants growing to a height of two metres in the shade of the patio to the north of the front range. From the size and weight of the individual blooms it is astonishing the apparently weak straggly growth can bear such flowers. These are composed of six red fleshy petals splayed out in a bell shape. The inner of which is mottled white. The filaments are white but the style takes on the mottled colour of the inner bell.
On the west coast by contrast it reaches and flowers to approximately seven metres through a Pinus leucodermis in the shelter of the walled garden of Achamore house on Gigha.
The image shows Isik Guner a botanical artist on a Darwin Initiative exchange from the Nezahat Gökyiğit Botanik Bahçesi, Istanbul, Turkey engaged in illustrating the plant for Martin Gardner.
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