Kew today - Kew's canary bellflower is in flower

See this beautiful climbing plant in the Princess of Wales Conservatory

21 Jan 2010

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Canarina canariensis

The canary bellflower, Canarina canariensis (Image: RBG Kew)

In Zone 3 of the Princess of Wales Conservatory, Kew's canary bellflower (Canarina canariensis) is happily flowering away.

This beautiful herbaceous climbing perennial, endemic, as the name suggests, to the Canary Islands, grows at a relatively high altitude in the cloud belt forest. It dies down completely in the summer and springs back to life in the autumn, producing large bell shaped orange-red flowers in the winter followed by astonishingly large orange yellow fruits.

The leaves of the canary bellflower are blueish green, the stems slightly succulent and the root tuberous. It should be kept dry as soon as it goes dormant in the summer, and watered as soon as new growth appears in the autumn.

Kew's specimen is supported by a tripod and is fairly compact, but in its natural habitat it scrambles through the laurel forest and a single plant can cover a whole cliffside!

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