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Aeschynanthus wallichii

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Aeschynanthus wallichii R.Br.

Family Name: Gesneriaceae

Aeschynanthus wallichii is a critically endangered epiphyte native to Singapore. Clusters of bright red, velvety, tubular flowers at the ends of its long pendulous branches and attract nectar-feeding birds like sunbirds. It grows best in semi-shade conditions and is suitable for hanging baskets.

Name

Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Comments
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Epiphyte
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 1 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 1 m

Biogeography

Native Distribution Malaya, Sumatra
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Freshwater Swamp Forest, Primary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form An epiphyte
Foliage Oppositely arranged, petiole is 5 - 12 mm long and smooth. Leaves are thick and leathery, ovate to elliptic, measuring 3 - 10 long by 0.8 - 5 cm wide. Leaf blade has acuminate apex and cuneate to subcordate base, entire leaf edges, smooth on both surfaces.
Stems Glabrous (smooth) stems.
Flowers Inflorescences are located at the axils, bearing 3 - 6 flowers. Calyx is light green, fused into a wide open cup with semicircle lobes. Petals are about 2- 2.7 cm long, with its tube slightly curved bright or dark red on the outside, with upper lobes slightly oblong or orbicular, side lobes ovate or deltoid, lower lobe ovate or orbicular.
Fruit Capsule, 1.8 to 3.7 cm long, about 4 mm wide.
Habitat Found growing in lowland dipterocarp forest or in peat swamp forest at 0 - 760 m altitude.
Similar It is similar to Aeschynanthus obconicus but the flowers and calyx of A.wallichii are smaller.The calyx is also green and more saucer-shaped compared to A.obconicus that is red and more cup-shaped.
Etymology The genus Aeschynanthus means shame-flower, in reference to the curved corolla tube that suggests a bowed head. The species wallichii refers to Nathaniel (Nathan Wolff) Wallich (1786-1854), a Danish botanist and author, Curator of Calcutta Botanic Garden.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping This species has clusters of bright or dark red, furry, tubular flowers ang grows well as epiphyte, suitable for hanging baskets.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses Container Planting, Hanging Basket
Thematic Landscaping Bird & Wildlife Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting (Flowers)
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Vertebrates (Bird))
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Propagation Method Stem Cutting

Foliar

Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Thick
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green - Light Green
Young Flush Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical, Ovate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Cuneate

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Herbaceous, Woody
Root Type Underground

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Red
Flower Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Individual Flower Shape Tubular
Inflorescence Type Umbel
Flowering Period A Few Times Yearly
Flower Size 2 cm

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Dehiscent Dry Fruit , Capsule
Seed Description grain of 0.8 - 1.2 mm by 0.2 - 0.3 mm, papillose

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Master ID 34013
Species ID 8429
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 12 May 2023.
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