Copihue, Chilean Bellflower, Chilean Glory Flower
The Copihue (co-pee-way) (Lapageria rosea) is also known as the Chilean Bellflower and Chilean Glory Flower.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Lapageria (from a personal name, probably for the Empress Josephine, nee Tascher de La Pagerie). Liliaceae. Chilean Bellflower. A single species, a noble, half-hardy evergreen twiner, allied to the smilaxes, considered to be one of the choicest subjects to grow under glass.
Leaves alternate, lance-ovate or cordate-lanceolate, 3-5-nerved, acuminate: flowers large and showy, bell-shaped, hanging singly from the upper axils or somewhat racemose at the end of the vine, about 3 in. long; stamens 6, borne on the torus or slightly attached to the base of the inner segms., shorter than the perianth; ovary sessile and 1-loculed, with 3 parietal placenta, ripening into a 3-angled, oblong, fleshy, indehiscent, berry-like beaked fr. and bearing nearly globular seeds embedded in the pulp. L. rosea, Ruiz & Pav., is the only species. It has rose-colored or rose-crimson flowers with lighter spots. Chile.
The species is variable in vigor, floriferousness, size, color and substance of bloom, and there are a number of named horticultural subvarieties. L.var.albiflora, Hook. (L.var.alba, Hort.), has white or whitish flowers. L.var.superba, Hort. Flowers large, brilliant rich crimson. L.var.flsemannii, Hort. Flowers larger and more brightly colored than those of the type itself: vigorous and free-flowering. L.var.bensonii, Hort. Flowers of lighter tint than those of type, especially in interior of the perianth. L.Var.gattoniensis, Hort. Much like the type.
Lapagerias are tall-twining plants, suitable for rafters or walls in coolhouses, or for culture in the open in the milder parts of the country. They are commonly propagated by cuttings and layers, but strong plants may be secured from seeds, although varieties may not come true. The first live plants were introduced into England in 1847. Lapagerias should be seen more frequently in America. They are considered to be not easy to grow, and a good display is usually regarded as an evidence of skill. Franceschi says that in California the plant prefers shady places "where the atmosphere will never become too dry."
Lapageria rosea and Philesia buxifolia have been hybridized by Veitch, producing a plant known as Philageria Veitchii, Philesia afforded the pollen. It is not in the American trade, but is a most interesting hybrid. For an anatomical study of it, bearing on problems of hybridity.
Lapageria rosea and L. var.albiflora should occupy a position in all cool greenhouse collections. We have no cool greenhouse twining plants that can be compared with them. They can be grown in large pots, trained on a trellis as specimen plants, or if for cut-flowers, they may be planted out on a bench or in a border. Strict attention must be paid to drainage, and the soil must not get into a "sour" condition.—Layering is the best way to propagate lapagerias. When a shoot gets somewhat bare of foliage, it may be twisted backward and forward in a box near where the plant is growing. The box should be filled first, with sand and fine peat, in equal proportion, to the depth of about 3 inches. Peg the shoot to keep it in position and cover with some of the compost. If there are leaves on the shoot, cover them only about one-third. Keep the soil moderately moist; and in time growths will start from the joints, which after a while will throw out roots, and when a sufficient number are formed to support the plants, separate them from the stem and place them in pots large enough to receive the roots without breaking them. The potting material should be one part fiber of loam, out of which all the fine loam has been shaken, one part osmunda fern root (osmundine), one part charcoal, and one part sharp sand. Water carefully until they get a good hold on the compost, after which they may be kept moderately moist. Lapagerias require to be at all times shaded from the sun, and kept in as cool a temperature as possible. A north house, from which the frost is kept, is an ideal position. If the plants are to be grown in pots, they must be shifted into larger pots before they get too well rooted. This will encourage strong breaks to start, from the bottom. These shoots, as soon as they emerge from the soil, should have a piece of cotton-wool twisted around them, for if there are any snails nearby, they will be sure to eat the tender tops, which will ruin the plants. A few stakes should be placed around the pot, to which to tie the shoots, until such time as the plants are big enough to train on the permanent trellis. Be sure to tie them in a regular way, as they will be easier untwisted when the time arrives for their removal.If lapagerias are intended to be planted on a bench or in a border, they should be well established in pots first. Do not fill all the bench or border at once; it is better to supply only enough material to last for one season, adding a little each year as they require it. The compost should be same as advised for potting, and it should be in rather a lumpy state, as lapagerias do not thrive in any soil of an adhesive nature. The bench or border should be well drained, so that the water may pass through freely, copious supplies being necessary when they are in active growth. After they are well established, treat with manure-water as advised for ixoras. Insect pests may be destroyed by fumigating with hydrocyanic gas in cool weather, and a free use of the syringe at all times. CH
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- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963