Today’s plant is a lush vine of warm climates. One grows — well sprawls, spreading rampantly from a neighbor’s patio into mine — on the ground floor of my “library condo” (in College Terrace, just south of Stanford), while the other grows in a neighbor’s garden behind my condo in downtown Palo Alto (my daughter Elizabeth and I commented on it this morning). The first is pink, the second yellow. Varieties similar to these:



From the Wikipedia article:

Mandevilla … is a genus of plants belonging to the dogbane family, Apocynaceae. It consists of about 100 species, mostly tropical and subtropical flowering vines.

Mandevilla species are native the Southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America and South America. Many originate from the Serra dos Órgãos forests in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The genus was named after Henry Mandeville (1773-1861), a British diplomat and gardener.

Mandevillas develop spectacular, often fragrant flowers in warm climates. The flowers come in a variety of colours, including white, pink, yellow, and red. Many hybrids have been developed, mainly deriving from M. ×amabilis, M. splendens, and M. sanderi. As climbers, Mandevillas can be trained against a wall or trellis to provide a leafy green and often flowering picture of beauty.

The pink varieties (which are very common here in Palo Alto) come in many shades of pink, and the yellow varieties in many shades of yellow, from light lemon yellow to a color I’d call orange.

The genus name is a nice instance of a derivation from a personal name, an especially common pattern for genus names in biology.

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