Bowkeria gerardiana Harvey

Synonyms

B. triphylla Hort., not Harvey

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Bean

An evergreen shrub 8, 10, or more ft high; stems covered with fine grey hairs. Leaves stalkless, arranged in threes at each joint, 4 to 7 in. long, 112 to 214 in. wide; ovate-lanceolate, toothed, long-pointed; dull green, somewhat downy on both surfaces. Flowers produced in August in lax, three- to ten-flowered cymes; the shaggy flower-stalks springing from the leaf-axils. Corolla pure white, 34 in. across, similar to a calceolaria, two-lipped, flattened at the mouth of the tube to a broad slit; upper lip broadly two-lobed, lower one three-lobed. The inflorescence is very viscid. Bot. Mag., t. 8021.

Native of Natal, and rare in cultivation. It has long been grown under glass at Kew, but my first knowledge of its existence in the open air was obtained in August 1903, when flowering shoots were sent to Kew from Mrs Gwytherne Williams' garden at Belvedere, St Lawrence, Isle of Wight. It is not only a beautiful shrub, but interesting as one of the comparatively few South African ones that can be grown outside in the south of England. It is, however, very tender and should not be attempted out-of-doors except in mild coastal gardens. A plant at Logan, Wigtownshire, reached 20 ft but was killed in the winter of 1961-2. The name under which it has been grown – ”B. triphylla” – belongs to a plant apparently not in cultivation.

Genus

Bowkeria

Other species in the genus