(es-ka-nan' thuss)

Common name: Lipstick Vine/Plant, Basket Vine

Family: Gesneriaceae

Height x width: 8" x 36" if speading, or hanging to 36"

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: ovate to lanceolate, leathery, fleshy, opposite or whorled

Flowers: bright, generally in terminal clusters (except marmoratus and sometimes longicaulis in axils); prominent often tubular outer calyx from which tubular inner usually 2" corolla emerges, often hooded and of a different color giving the appearance of "lipstick"

Light: bright, essential for flowering

Temperature: warm

Watering: moderate

Fertility: moderate

Humidity: humid

Soil: well-drained to epiphytic

Pests and Problems: leaf spots, stem blight, mosaic virus, aphids, thrips, mealybugs (often common), scales; leaves turn brown and scorch from full direct sun

Growth habit, uses: groundcover, usually as a hanging basket or trailing

Other interest: native to tropics of Southeast Asia; from the Greek aischyno meaning to be ashamed, and anthos meaning flowers, refering to the often red flowers which appear to be blushing

Other culture: may be grown on slabs of wood or fiber epiphytically, but require more moisture and watering if so

Propagation: division, layering (root readily at nodes), seeds


bracteatus (brac-tea-aa' tuss)--elliptic to sharp-pointed ovate 4" leaves, dark green; terminal clusters of 4-5 scarlet flowers from purple calyces; rambling habit

hildebrandii (hill-de-bran' dee-ii)--ovate, dark green 1" leaves, red margins; terminal clusters or 2-3 orange-red flowers from green calyces; erect habit

lobbianus (lowb-bee-aa' nuss)--elliptic dark green 2" leaves with purplish margins; terminal clusters of 2-3 red flowers from purple calyces; trailing habit

longicaulis (lon-gi-call' iss)--lanceolate dark green 3" leaves; orange-red flowers from green calyces either in axillary or terminal clusters; semi-trailing

marmoratus (mar-more-ah' tuss)--oval 3-4" leaves dark marbled above and red below; solitary and axillary flowers, greenish yellow with maroon-tinged throats from deeply cut green calyces; semi-trailing

parasiticus (pair-a-si' ti-cuss)--lanceolate 3" leaves; terminal clusters of orange-red flowers with red lines and orange margins from green calyces; trailing, well-adapted to indoors

pulcher (pull' cher)--oval, slightly toothed, shiny dark green 2" leaves; terminal corymbs of bright red flowers with yellow throats from green calyces; climbing vine

radicans (ra-di-cans')--ovate to lanceolate 3" leaves; bright red flowers from green to maroon calyces; trailing or creeping; 'Variegata' with white-splashed foliage

speciosus (spee-cee-o' suss)--pale green 4" leaves; orange yellow flowers marked orange on lower lobes with yellow throat, from yellow-green calyces; trailing


Species foliage shape, length corolla calyx habit  
bracteatus elliptic, 4"  scarlet purple trailing  
hildebrandii ovate, 1"  orange-red green upright  
lobbianus elliptic, 2", purplish margins red purple trailing  
longicaulis lanceolate, 3" orange-red green semi-trailing  
marmoratus oval, 3-4", dark marbled greenish, maroon throat green semi-trailing  
parasiticus lanceolate, 3" orange-red green trailing  
pulcher oval, 2", slightly toothed red, yellow throat green climbing  
radicans ovate to lance, 3" red green trailing  
speciosus ovate, 4", whorled orange-yellow, 4" green trailing  



In addition to the species which are most commonly found, several cultivars exist.

'Black Pagoda'--elliptic, 4" leaves, pale green with dark reddish marbling above and purple beneath; terminal clusters of yellow to re-orange flowers from green calyces; perhaps most often seen cultivar

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

Return to  Perry's Perennial Pages | PSS121 course