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Lapageria flower


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The stunning flower of the lapageria resembles an exotic tropical orchid, hand-carved from wax. Surprisingly, the lapageria is not a tropical plant. It is native to the cool, mountainous region of southern Chile, where it is known by its Araucanian Indian name, ‘El Copihue’. The lapageria is the National Flower of Chile.

Plant details

Common name: Chilean bellflower

Botanic name: Lapageria rosea


An evergreen, twining climber with dark green, leathery leaves. It has bell-shaped, pale pink to red flowers from autumn to mid winter. The sweet, fleshy fruits are edible. Many named cultivars are available with single and double flowers, in white, ivory white, red, pink, salmon, and bi-colours.

The genus name Lapageria honours Napoleon’s Empress Josephine (her maiden name was ‘de la Pagerie’), who apparently grew lapagerias in her garden at Malmaison, near Paris.

Named cultivars shown in our segment:

‘Angol’ – large, salmon pink trumpets
‘Arco Iris’ – white with pink/red tips
‘Collinge’ – white flared with red
‘Nube Blanca’ – pure white
‘Quelipichum’ – double dark pink
‘Sangre de Toro’ – intense red

Lapagerias grow best in Tasmania and moist, mountainous areas.

Uses:Lapagerias look good growing over a pergola or against a south facing wall. They also do well in tubs or pots.

Good points:

beautiful flowers
flowers in the cooler months of the year
will grow and flower in shade
attractive, evergreen foliage
long lived once established


difficult to grow
slow to establish
prone to root problems
attractive to snails and slugs


Lapagerias like an east or south facing position in the garden, or a shaded, humid area, such as a fernery. They will flower in either full or part shade.
They need a well-drained, acid soil, enriched with compost or other organic matter. If growing in containers, use a good quality potting mix (azalea or camellia mix is suitable).
Protect from strong winds – particularly hot, dry winds.
Fertilise in early spring. Use a slow release fertiliser for potted plants and a complete fertiliser for plants in the garden. Do not overfeed.
Keep plants well watered during the warmer months of the year.
Protect from slugs and snails, particularly during the warmer months.


Named varieties cost around $45 for a 150mm (6″) pot, and $60-$65 for a 200mm (8″) pot. More advanced plants are available.


Order through your local nursery, or available from rare plant specialists, such as:

Dicksonia Rare Plants, Mt Macedon, Vic. Phone: (03) 5426 3075
Cloudehill, Olinda, Vic. Phone: (03) 9751 1009

Also available by mail order from:

Candybell, PO Box 915, Erica, Vic
Phone: (03) 5165 3394
Email: [email protected]