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The Lapageria rosea was a relatively recent introduction to Victorian Britain, being seen for the first time at Kew in 1847 (having been obtained from Chili).

Hibberd described them as ‘nearly hardy’ and could be grown well in a cool plant-house, although in sheltered spots in Devon and Cornwall they would well be grown out of doors. They needed good turfy peat as soil with some grit added, and copious watering. Once growing on, they could be trained to wires or to the rafters of the glass house.

If they started to straggle then Hibberd advised they be tossed onto the compost heap. “Netter always a thriving tuft of native chickweed than a poor example of any grand exotic!”

Information and image taken from F. Edward Hulme and Shirley Hibberd, Familiar Garden Flowers (Cassell, Peter, Galpin and Co.: London: c. 1890), 5 vols.

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