A climbing plant of great vigour and more or less evergreen, attaching itself to its supports by tendrils; devoid of down in all its parts. Leaves palmate, five- or seven-lobed, 4 to 7 in. across; lobes oblong with rounded ends; green above, somewhat glaucous beneath. Flowers borne on long, slender stalks from the leaf-axils of the young growing shoots; flat and open, fragrant, 3 to 4 in. across, the five sepals and five petals whitish. Between the petals and the stamens is a conspicuous ring of thread-like, purplish growths 2 in. across, known as the ‘corona’. Fruits ovoid, up to 13⁄4 in. long, with a tough, orange-coloured rind and numerous seeds inside, embedded in pulp. Bot. Mag., t. 28.
Native of S. Brazil; introduced, according to Aiton, in 1609. It is not genuinely hardy near London, but will often survive several winters on a sheltered wall. As it grows very rapidly and is easily propagated from seeds or cuttings, it is worth growing for its beautiful and remarkably constructed flowers, which start to appear in June, and continue until the end of September.
cv. ‘Constance Elliott’, first shown by Messrs Lucombe, Pince, & Co., of Exeter, in 1884, has ivory-white flowers (see Gard. Chron. (1884), i., p. 701).