BIGNONIACEAE – Adenocalymna – adenocalymna comosum




Bignoniaceae includes approximately 110 genera of mostly tropical trees, shrubs, and woody climbers, with greatest diversity in Central and northern South America. The species are typical of seasonally moist/dry forests. The family includes many extraordinary ornamentals, such as facaranda and Tabebuia. Leaves are usually pinnate, occasionally palmate or simple. The terminal leaflet of some climbing species are modified into delicately pronged hooklike tendrils. They do not mar surfaces on which they climb and are excellent choices for rough – textured walls which need occasional maintenance because the  vines are easily removed. Flowers are funnel or bell – shaped, bilaterally symmetrical, with a 2 lobed lower lip. The throat often has contrasting colored veins. One or 2 pairs of stamens are pressed against the upper side of the throat, the anthers touching, forming  a distinctive gothic arch, facilitating pollination by bees, butterflies, hawkmoths, birds and bats. The fruit is usually an elongated, podlike capsule that splits open to release winged seeds.

Adenocalymna includes approximately 50 species of woody climbers from tropical America. They are unusual in cultivation, The stems are 4 – angled.  Leaves are divided into 3 leaflets, but the terminal leaflets is often modified into a 3 – pronged tendril, leaving  just 2 apparent leaflets. Flowers are funnel – shaped. The genus name combines adeno, meaning “glands” and calymna, meaning”calyx” and alludes to the ring of glands dotting the rim of the cuplike calyx.

Adenocalymna comosum

Synonym; Bignonia comosa. Brazil. Woody climber 6-10ft.+, zones 10-11. Blooms spring, summer. Moderate moisture. Fertile humus – rich, well drained soil. Full sun. Flowers: funnel – shaped, deep golden – yellow, to 3 in. long, each calyx lobe with a black glandular dot near the edge. Leaves: trifoliolate, leaflets ovate to lanceolate, 3-4 in. long, dark green, leathery to stiff. Vaguely resembles Allamanda but easily distinguished by the bilateral rather than radial floral symmetry and the pinnate leaves. The species name alludes to the hairy floral tube.

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