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Aeschynanthus radicans, Lipstick Plant. Aeschynanthus radicans 'Mona Lisa'
Aeschynanthus radicans 'Mona Lisa'

Aeschynanthus radicans

Lipstick Plant
Family: Gesneriaceae
Origin: Southeast Asia
USDA Zone: 11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapGroundcover and low-growing 2ft plantVine or creeper plantSmall plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeShadeModerate waterRegular waterYellow, orange flowersRed, crimson, vinous flowers

Aeschynanthus is a large genus of Old World tropical herbs, similar to the genus Columnea in Central and South America. Both are often trailing epiphytes with large, showy flowers.

The appearance of the various Aeschynanthus species varies widely. The original "Lipstick Plant" has shiny, hard-surfaced leaves with bright red flowers that emerge from a dark red tubular calyx, resembling lipstick emerging from a tube. It is an epiphyte that grows in the angles of branches in the rainforest. As with all epiphytes, it does not live as a parasite on the tree, but takes its nourishment from fallen leaves and twigs that accumulate in the crevices of branches.

To care for the Lipstick Plant, it needs plenty of light but not direct sunlight. They thrive in summer heat, and winter temperatures should not drop below 60 degrees. It should be grown in semi-shade and needs regular or moderate water. If you live in a colder area, you can grow it in pots and make sure to water it regularly and keep the soil evenly moist.

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