This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
Plant stout, 4-5 or 6 ft.: leaves long-oblong or oblong-lanceolate, acuminate, bright green, to 2 1/2 ft. long and one-third as wide: raceme slender, usually squarrose, rarely simple; flowers narrow and elongated, red; sepals lanceolate and acute, 1/2in. long; petals much longer, lanceolate and very acuminate; staminodia sub-equal, narrow-spatulate; lip narrow, strongly revolute. W. Indies, Cent. Amer. C. limbata, Roscoe (C. patens, Hook. C. aureo-vittata, Lodd. C.floribunda,C.variegata, C. recurvata, C. Ioeta and C. ventricosa, Bouche), of S. Brazil, has unlike staminodia, the largest being 2-lobed, the medium one emarginate, the other entire, all red with yellow margins. B.R. 771. L.B.C. 449.
cc. Plant tall, often up to 10 ft. (No. 21 perhaps excepted).
d. Staminodia of medium length (3 in. or less).
e. The staminodia not united.
(C. esculenta, Lodd. C. rubricaulis, Link). Rootstock thick and edible: stem stout, 8-12 ft., purple: leaves large, oblong, or ovate-oblong, green or bronze, 1-2 ft. long: raceme lax, forked or simple; flowers red or brick-red, usually in pairs, the bracts orbicular or oblong; sepals oblong-lanceolate, 1/2in. long, tinged with red; petals oblong-lanceolate, 1 1/2in. staminodia entire or emarginate, 2 1/2 in. long, bright red or orange; lip bright red or yellow-red: caps, large. W. Indies, S. Amer. B.M. 2498. B.R. 775. - Starch is procured from the roots, and for this purpose the plant is widely cult, in the tropics.
stem claret-purple and glaucous, 3-4 ft.: leaves oblong and acute, more or less claret- or bronze-tinged, 1/2ft. long and nearly one-half as broad: raceme simple and rather dense, with ovate, brown, glaucous bracts; sepals lanceolate, 1/2in., glaucous purple; petals lanceolate, acuminate, nearly 2 in. long, reddish and glaucous; staminodia oblanceolate, entire, 2 1/2-3 in. long, bright scarlet; lip oblanceolate, emarginate, bright scarlet. Costa Rica, Brazil. B.M. 4854. C. Selloi, Hort. (C. patens, Baker), of S. Brazil, is tomentose: sepals ovate; petals oblong-lanceolate, united into a tube; staminodia strongly reflexed, one 2-parted.
ee. The staminodia united into a tube, or at least connate at base.
stem stout, very tall (to 10 or 11 ft.): green and glabrous, 12-14 ft.: leaves oblong-lanceolate to elliptic, green, acute: raceme simple or forked, lax and few-fid., the bracts large and oblong, green; sepals lanceolate, pale purple or lilac, 1/2in. long; petals lanceolate, acuminate, 1 1/2 in. long, purple; staminodia unlike, obovate, entire, scarcely longer than the petals, connate at base, bright crimson; lip bright crimson-purple: caps, oblong, large. W. Indies, S. Amer. B.R. 470.
(C. gigantca, Desf. C. macro-phylla, Hort. C. neglecta, Weinm. C. gemella, Nees. C. Altensteinii, Bouche). stem stout, very tall (10-16 ft.) pubescent: leaves ovate or ovate-oblong, acute, green, but purple-margined when young, the lower ones often 3-4 ft. long: flowers in several racemes forming a panicle, the bracts oblong or the lower ones becoming several inches long; sepals oblong and green, 1/2in. long, very unequal, petals lanceolate, acuminate, 2 in. long, scarlet; staminodia united into a tube, entire at apex or one of them 2-lobed, somewhat twisted, brick-red; lip brick-red: caps, large. S. Amer. L.B.C. 7:634.
-C. heliconiifolia, Bouche, Texas to Venezuela, has the staminodia more or less connivent: flowers orange-red: leaves long-petioled, more or less woolly, oblong-acuminate: plant 7-8 ft. variety xalapensis, Kranzl (C. xalapensis, Bouch6), has narrower leaves and smaller stature.
dd. Staminodia large (5 in. or less long), united into a tube. E. Flowers pendulous, rose-colored.
stem green, 6-12 ft.: leaves broad-oblong, bright green, slightly pubescent beneath: racemes paniculate, drooping; flowers large, beautiful rose-color; tube of corolla and staminodia as long as the blade; sepals lanceolate, 1 in. long; corolla-lobes lanceolate, 2 1/2 in. - long; 3 upper staminodia somewhat longer than the corolla-lobes, obovate, nearly or quite 1 in. broad, rose-crimson; lip narrow, deeply emarginate, rose-crimson. Andes of Peru. B.M. 1968. B.R. 609. L.B.C. 10:905. R.H. 1861:110.
Fig. 784. Stool of carina, showing how it may be divided.
ee. Flowers erect-spreading, white and red.
stem robust, green, 8-10 ft.: leaves many, oblong, green, 3-4 ft. long, spreading from the stem at a right angle: flowers in a corymbose panicle; sepals linear, as long as the tube of the corolla; corolla-lobes lanceolate, 2-3 in. long, pale green, the tube of equal length; 3 upper staminodia white, united into a tube for half their length, the blade obovate and spreading; lip oblanceolate, as long as the staminodia. Colombia. R.H. 1884:132. F.S. 10:1055-6. - A fine species. The white flowers finally become tinged with brown; lonicera-scented. l. H. B.