DipladeniaBotanical name: MandevillaPronunciation...


April 13, 1991|By Amalie Adler Ascher


Botanical name: Mandevilla

Pronunciation: dip-la-Dee-nia

Family: Apocynaceae (Dogbane)

Common name: none

Origin: Brazil

Class: Vine

Display period: Year-round

Height: 5-6 feet

Environment: Sun

A plant with a dual identity, Mandevilla/Dipladenia is aeye-popper no matter what its name. Traditions die hard in the nursery industry. Despite the change about 25 years ago in the plant's genus, from Dipladenia to Mandevilla, it continues to be widely sold by its old designation.

Both names, however, apply. Dipladenia stands for the Greek words, diploos (double) an aden (gland), a reference to the two glands the plant's ovary contains. The genus name, Mandevilla, recognizes Henry John Mandeville, a British foreign minister who in 1836 introduced the plant from his post in Buenos Aires.

The most striking cultivars of the genus are M. Sanderi Red Riding Hood (the species name alluding to the Sanders Nursery) and M. Amabilis Alice du Pont. Varying in their dazzling shades of red, the varieties also differ in the size of their leaves and tubular blossoms, those borne by Alice twice as big as Riding Hood's. Alice was named for the wife of Pierre Samuel du Pont, the developer of Longwood Gardens and the place where the hybrid was first found.

A fast-growing vine suited to display in hanging baskets or trained on a trellis, dipladenia's strands can elongate five to six feet in a single season, says Richard Egerton, whose family-owned Clifford Egerton Greenhouses in Cub Hill supplies plants to garden centers.

Dipladenia will bloom outdoors all summer. It should be wintered over in the house, where it will continue to flower, although to a lesser extent. Set it, Mr. Egerton says, in a southerly window. Otherwise, morning sun is best.

Because dipladenia produces buds on new growth and also along the stem, wind vines that grow too long around themselves instead of pruning them. A mail order source is the rare plant specialist, Logee's Greenhouses, 141 North St., Danielson, Conn. 06239. A catalog cost $3.

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