This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Fig. 175. Cobaea scandens, (1/4 nat. site.)
Flowers large, campanulate, solitary and axillary. Calyx foliaceous, persistent. Stamens and style declinate. Cells of the capsule several-seeded; seeds large, winged. There are three species described, from Mexico and Guayaquil. This genus was named after Cobo, a Spanish botanist.
1. C. scdndens (fig. 175). - This is the species commonly seen in gardens, having large purplish flowers. For out-door culture it is usually treated as an annual, and deserves to be more extensively employed for covering balconies and training around windows, on account of its rapid growth and pleasing foliage. It is a native of Mexico. There is a beautiful variety with variegated foliage.
C. stipularis from Mexico and C. macrostema from Guayaquil have yellowish green flowers, the former being remarkable for its large stipules, and the latter for its long stamens, which exceed the corolla by one half.
Cantua is a genus of handsome flowering shrubs from the mountains of Peru and Columbia. Leaves small, entire or pinnatifid, and alternate. Corolla funnel-shaped. Stamens more or less exserted. C. buxifolia and C. bicolor have splendid large orange and red pendulous flowers from the upper part of the branches; and C. pyrifolia has erect white and yellow flowers in terminal corymbs. These shrubs belong more properly to the greenhouse, though they will succeed in the open air near the sea in the south-western counties of England.