Thursday, May 28, 2009

SCUTELLARIA Costaricana.

These are plants I found in a regular Big Box garden section when we went to Alabama:

The one on the right is Scutellaria costaricana. On the left is Duranta, which I will discuss in a later post.

From Curtis's botanical magazine By William Jackson Hooker, David Prain, Otto Stapf, Royal Horticultural Society (Great Britain) 1864.
"We have lately figured several handsome scarlet-flowered tropical American Scutellariœ,—for example, S. cordi/olia (Tab. 4290), S. incarnata (Tab. 4268, and var., Tab. 5185), S. Ven- tenatii (Tab. 4271), and 8. villosa (Tab. 4789); but the present one is quite distinct from any of them, and certainly much more beautiful, perhaps the most beautiful, of any of this now extensive genus, numbering as it does, according to Mr. Bentham, eighty-six species. Its beauty consists in the great size and the colouring of the numerous flowers : these measure two inches and a half in length, of a rich golden-scarlet colour, with the faux, or inside of the lips, a deep yellow. It is a native of Costa Rica and was introduced into Europe, we believe, by Mr. Wendland, to whom we are indebted for our living plants which flowered in a warm stove in 1863."

I was not expecting such a history. The plants were labeled as annuals; they are tender perennials blooming from spring to fall. I hope to take cuttings to save over the winter.

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