Portlandia grandiflora, Bell Flower, Glorious Flower of Cuba, White Horse Flower, Tree Lily
Portlandia grandiflora

Portlandia grandiflora

Bell Flower, Glorious Flower of Cuba, White Horse Flower, Tree Lily
Family: Rubiaceae
Origin: Cuba, Jamaica
USDA Zone: 10-11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapLarge shrub 5-10 ft tallSmall tree 10-20 ftSemi-shadeShadeRegular waterWhite, off-white flowersFragrant plant

The plant is named after a former Duchess of Portland, originally discovered in the island some centuries ago but had been in decline until Jamaicas National Arboretum Foundation at Hope Gardens began propagating them a few years ago. A slow growing small tree that produces 5-6" white, trumpet, fragrant flowers. In nature mature trees have been reported to grow 15 feet. Since it is very slow growing, it stays in container as a small 3-5" plant, and blooms when in young age. This plant has elliptic, leathery leaves and blooms from late Spring into Fall. The flowers are white tinged with pink and trumpet-shaped. The air is filled with their luscious perfume, reminiscent of warm, creamy chocolate. It is most fragrant in the evening and early morning, but can be appreciated most any time. Grows in wild in limestone or karst areas of Jamaica. Dark green, lush foliage contrasts beautifully with the white flowers. Initially the shrub grows on a tall single stem so it has the look of a standard or lollipop. Gradually, with age, it fills out and becomes more shrub-like. Given its native habitat, portlandia does well in alkaline soils. It is cold sensitive, and should be planted with protection from winter winds. Cold may cause leaves to drop and severe cold may knock it back to the ground, but it will spring back. While it can be grown in a container, it flowers much of the year if it is in the ground. One of very few tropical plants that tolerate alkaline soils!

Similar plants:

Link to this plant: