Sunset Bells or Chrysothemis pulchella is a perennial shrub with an evergreen appearance. Its yellow and orange flowers look like beautiful decoration lamps shining above the thick foliage. So it is widely grown in the tropics including Kerala as an ornamental plant.
The Bell-Shaped Flowers
The name ‘Sunset Bells’ is apt for it. It has the beautiful color of evening sky when the Sun is about to set – complete with bright yellow and vivid orange. The orange part forms the base (sepals), on which the yellow flowers (corolla) grow. And their shape resemble small bells. Very interesting, right?
The flowers have small hair like projections. The yellow corolla last for a few days and has red linings on the inner surface. Also, the red sepals remain even after the corolla withers, giving the plant an ever-blooming look.
It blooms during the months of May to November.
Although very delicate, Sunset Bells has a powerful presence wherever it grows, thanks to the thick and dark leaves. They are glossy with a dark texture.
Moreover, once its roots are established, it will not perish even during hard tropical summers. Even if it does, it will more than likely flourish after a rain.
The shrub usually grows up to half a meter. It gives the feel of a dense lower foliage.
Cultivation & Caring
The plant flourishes in moist and well-drained soil under moderate sunlight.
These are also available to buy from nurseries and can be planted simply by stem cutting.
Once the plant is established, watering is not required unless it is a very hard summer when some care is needed.
Like Mexican Sunflower or hibiscus, it can grow by itself and does not need much care under favourable conditions. On the other hand there are some flowers which require our careful attention and care, which would otherwise dry up, like roses and bougainvillea.
The plant is of Caribbean origin. Its botanical name is Chrysothemis pulchella and belongs to the family Gesneriaceae.
Other names: Copper Leaf, Black Flamingo, Chrysothemis.
Although it is a common ornamental plant, it grows in the wild too.
Hope you liked this amazing plant.