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 name ‘Sunset Bells’ is apt for it. It has the beautiful color of the 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 resembles small bells, which look interesting.
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 flowers during the months from May to November.
Although it is small in size, Sunset Bells has a powerful presence wherever it grows, thanks to the thick and dark leaves, which 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, which gives the feel of dense lower foliage.
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 except during harsh summer when some care may be needed.
Like Mexican Sunflower or hibiscus, it can grow by itself and does not need much care under favorable conditions. On the other hand, there are some flowering plants that require 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.