Plant Database forum: Justicia 'Orange Flame'

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Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
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eclayne
Mar 20, 2014 2:24 PM CST

Plants Admin

While researching Mexican Honeysuckle (Justicia 'Sidicaro'), I ran across this thread at Tropicsphere Justicia sp. and this entry at Kartuz Greenhouses website for Jacobinia chrysostephana which notes:
We previously sold it as a justicia species with the name of Orange Flame.

While the status of Jacobinia chrysostephana appears to be a bit tentative at present, it's possible we have 2 (or possibly 3) entries in our DB that should be merged. Can anyone help clarify this?

Here are our entries for Justicia 'Orange Flame' (deleted and merged with J. 'Sidicaro') and Jacobinia chrysostephana.
Evan
[Last edited by eclayne - Mar 30, 2014 8:51 AM (+)]
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Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
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rattlebox
Mar 20, 2014 9:37 PM CST
The entry for Justicia 'Orange Flame' is probably Justicia 'Sidicaro', one of the common names for which is "Orange Flame" (not a cultivar name). The photos are certainly consistent with J. 'Sidicaro' and so probably could be merged with that.

However I feel the entry for Jacobinia chrysostephana should stand. Regardless where the scientific name ends up (Justicia..., Cyrtanthera chrysostephana, or whatever), I believe it refers to a specific and unique plant. Unfortunately, most of the photos representing Jacobinia chrysostephana appear to actually be of Justicia 'Sidicaro'. (Or of Justicia aurea; some sites even refer to Jacobinia chrysostephana as a synonym of Justicia aurea.) So there is much confusion being perpetuated out there.

Jacobinia chrysostephana has been in cultivation for about 130 years, and the old descriptions seem generally consistent with the description offered by Kartuz.
http://www.kartuz.com/pc/51884/7RFPJ1/Jacobinia+chrysostepha...

There are four main points, three of which are: flower color, flower shape, and leaf color. All three aspects are visible in this photo from the National Botanic Garden of Belgium:

http://www.br.fgov.be/RESEARCH/COLLECTIONS/LIVING/LIVCOL/lp-...

and in this artistic rendering:

http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/digitalcollection/illus...

Flower color: color is variously (but similarly) described as orange-yellow, apricot orange, or golden yellow. Not the brilliant orange of Justicia 'Sidicaro' nor the clear yellow of Justicia aurea. A softer color, and somewhere between yellow and orange.

Flower shape: The lower lip of Jacobinia chrysostephana is similar to that of Justicia aurea, maybe a bit more reflexed, but not tightly curled under as with Justicia 'Sidicaro'.

Leaf color: It is repeatedly pointed out that the midrib and veins on the underside of the leaf are red, reddish, or maroon. I have Justicia 'Sidicaro' planted in multiple locations, some with better soil, more consistent water, and full sun, some neglected in poor soil, and one even in full shade. Regardless of the growing conditions, not a single plant shows any tendency toward reddish color on the undersides of the leaves.

The fourth point referred to above is bloom time. Jacobinia chrysostephana is consistently referred to specifically as a winter bloomer, with one reference giving a six-week winter blooming window. Justicia aurea is a summer bloomer, and while Justicia 'Sidicaro' blooms during the winter, it also blooms in spring, summer and fall.

A couple of important text references:

From the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, quoted here:

http://www.gardenology.org/wiki/Jacobinia_chrysostephana

And from the Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society (Number two of three references in this journal):

http://books.google.com/books?id=_YMxAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA1162&lpg=...

I kinda wish the REAL Jacobinia chrysostephana was more widely available.
[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett
Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plant and/or Seed Trader Xeriscape Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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rattlebox
Mar 20, 2014 10:01 PM CST
PS: Even TropicSphere ends up with three different plants: Justicia 'Sidicaro', Justicia spicigera, and an unknown with reddish veins underneath from Bill of Kurtuz.

That post is from 2008 with no update as to the findings. Since Bill of Kurtuz got involved at the end and provided the plant with the reddish veins for examination, I wonder if this examination is why Kurtuz now refers to that plant specifically as Jacobinia chrysostephana -Golden Crowned instead of generically as J. 'Orange Flame'.
[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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eclayne
Mar 21, 2014 9:15 AM CST

Plants Admin

Thanks for the thorough explanation and links Ron.

rattlebox said:The entry for Justicia 'Orange Flame' is probably Justicia 'Sidicaro', one of the common names for which is "Orange Flame" (not a cultivar name). The photos are certainly consistent with J. 'Sidicaro' and so probably could be merged with that.

This merge is done Ron. If you get a chance a photo of the abaxial surface of a leaf will help identify 'Sidicaro'.

rattlebox said:Unfortunately, most of the photos representing Jacobinia chrysostephana appear to actually be of Justicia 'Sidicaro'. (Or of Justicia aurea; some sites even refer to Jacobinia chrysostephana as a synonym of Justicia aurea.) So there is much confusion being perpetuated out there.

I agree A web search certainly brings up many confusing results. This is where our "Also sold as:" field comes in handy. I've added Justicia 'Orange Flame' to that field in the Mexican Honeysuckle (Justicia 'Sidicaro') entry.
Evan
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Mar 21, 2014 10:54 AM CST
Thanks Evan and Ron for your diligent research. I agree that the "also sold as" field is very handy - it often clears up confusion for me.
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Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plant and/or Seed Trader Xeriscape Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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rattlebox
Mar 30, 2014 7:16 AM CST
Just uploaded a couple photos of the leaf undersides of Justicia 'Sidicaro'
[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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eclayne
Mar 30, 2014 9:06 AM CST

Plants Admin

Thanks for the photo Ron. I've approved it.
Evan

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