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.
(Latin, scarlet; referring to the ornamental gourds). Cucurbitacese,. Tender perennial vines, usually with tuberous roots, grown for ornament mostly indoors.
Leaves angled or lobed, sometimes glandular: flowers white or yellowish, large, staminate and pistillate on different plants or sometimes on different branches of the same plant; calyx short, often campanulate: fruit a small, scarlet gourd, sometimes marbled, with an insipid pulp. - Twenty species from the tropics of Asia and Africa A. Cogniaux in DC, Mon. Phan. 3:528. C. cordifolia is treated as a tender annual, requiring an early start and no special cultivation The genus is sometimes referred to Cephalandra.
a. Tendrils simple: male flowers solitary: leaves small. cordifdlia, Cogn. (C. indica, Wight & Arn). Height about 10 ft., perfectly smooth: leaves small, 1-2 in. long, glossy, ivy-like, short-petioled, obtusely 5-angled: flower white, bell-shaped, the staminate solitary: fruit roundish at both ends, about 2 in. long, 1 in. thick. India.
aa. Tendrils bifid: male flowers in racemes: leaves large. palmata, Cogn. (Cephalandra palmdta, Lond.). Attaining 30 ft.: leaves large, 3-4 in. long and wide, longpetioled, palmately 5-lobed: flowers yellowish: fruit ovate, acute. Natal. - Intro, by P. Henderson & Co., 1890. A rare greenhouse plant.
C. Dinteri, Andre, with palmate leaves and handsome scarlet fruits, may be in cultivation S. Africa R.H. 1900:268.