Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter.
The Chilean bellflower is a climbing vine with lustrous, green leaves and waxy, glowing-pink flowers. Wave Hill’s lovely young specimen is blooming in the Palm House this month.
It is native to the temperate rain forests of southern Chile, where it is called copihue, and is recognized as the country’s national flower.
Lapageria rosea is the only species in its genus, and the botanical family (Philesiaceae) contains only two genera, the other being Philesia. That, too, has only one species—P. magellanica, another plant from the temperate Andean forests.