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AESCHYNANTHUS

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Pronunciation: (ees-kin-an-thus)
Family: Lipstick Vine, Royal Red Bugler, GESNERIACEAE

Midsummer-flowering relatives of the African Violet, Aeschynanthus are succulent-leafed trailers from South-east Asia. They are generally grown in baskets of moist, acid compost and hung in a warm, humid position in semi-shade. They need plenty of water in the warm-weather growing season.

The flowers look like an orange-scarlet lipstick poking out of a dark red-green holder. Propagate in spring or late summer from hardened stem-tip cuttings. Illustrated species is Aeschynanthus X ‘Fireworks’ while others include Aeschynanthus lobbianus with glossy light green leaves, yellow-lined red-flowers; Aeschynanthus marmoratus, the Zebra Basket Vine, handsome dark leaves veined with yellow, backed in purple, brown-spotted green flowers.

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