Solandra is a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family, Solanaceae. It is named after the Swedish naturalist Daniel C. Solander. The vines it contains are commonly known as Chalice Vines and are native to the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. They have very large flowers and glossy foliage.
Solandra grandiflora, more popularly known as Chalice Vine or Cup of Gold, is a perennial fast-growing climbing vine or liana. This vine quickly takes root and grabs onto the surrounding vegetation for support, the base stalk is thick, heavy and ropelike. These vines can easily exceed over 30 metres in length, each node on the branch will sprout tendrils and take root, giving the whole plant more stability and a larger root system to improve its ability to access essential nutrients: Water, minerals, sunlight. The leaves grow directly from the main stalk and side branches and are uniformly dark green, thick, with a smooth supple texture; they can grow as large as 15 cm in length, 7 cm wide and are oval shaped.
Chalice Vine is well known among gardeners, and is prized for its large ornamental flowers, which are yellow, grow up to 25 cm long, and are distinctly shaped like bells or chalices. The flowers will begin as bright, brilliant white and yellow with purple or brown stripes spiralling inside, and as the flower ages its colour will darken, ranging in shades from chartreuse, amber, lemon and golden yellow; hence the well earned common name, Cup of Gold. The flowers bloom in the evening or night and produce a strong sweet fragrance, which smells similar to coconut. In the wild they produce large yellow, white berries that contain many tiny seeds for future propagation, as the berries ripen they change colour from light yellow to deep red. However, when Solandra grandiflora is cultivated as an ornamental, it is usually grown from cuttings and the fruits are rarely if ever seen.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.