Friday, December 5, 2008

Lipstick plant 'Black Pagoda' in bloom

I have had my Lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus longicaulis) for at least a year and a half now.  Over the long holiday weekend I was picking out some of the dead leaves that had collected in the dense stems arching out of its hanging basket when I noticed a couple of small buds.

New buds on Aeschynanthus longicaulis (lipstick plant) 'Black Pagoda'.  Also, notice the foliage on top and bottom of leaves.
I was pretty excited, not having seen my plant flower before.  I knew that some species of Lipstick plant have bright red blooms (see some here), hence the common name.  My particular species of Aeschynanthus is A. longicaulis 'Black Pagoda.'  It has beautiful foliage - dark and light green stripes on the top of the leaves and purply-red and green on the undersides.

I searched the plant for more of the inconspicuous buds and found that the plant is covered in them.  Looking around on the Dave's Garden website, I discovered a variety of lipstick plant that looks much like mine with a nice orange inflorescence.  You can see it here.  There are over 185 species of Aeschynanthus in the wild.  I read a comment by someone else saying that their 'Black Pagoda' has green blooms.

Large buds on Aeschynanthus longicaulis (lipstick plant) 'Black Pagoda'.
When I did a google image search for "Aeschynanthus longicaulis" all of the inflorescence pictures were green.  With my largest buds about to open and still no sign of color, I resigned myself to the fact that my blooms would stay green, not the colorful red or orange I had seen from some other species of Aeschynanthus.  I believe the lipstick plant with orange blooms is actually Aeschynanthus parasiticus.

Open inflorescence on Aeschynanthus longicaulis (lipstick plant) 'Black Pagoda'.  Notice the stamens extruding from the tubular calyx on the lower bloom.
Even if the blooms are not very colorful on my plant, you just can't beat the mottled foliage of this species.

Aeschynanthus longicaulis 'Black Pagoda' (lipstick plant)
Maybe it will win me a prize in the houseplant picture contest from the Life on the Balcony blog!  :)  We'll see.

My plant has sent out a runner from one of the drainage holes on the bottom of the hanging pot.  I hope that I will be able to repot this plant in the spring and pull the runner back through the hole and pot it separately.  I might just have to do the repotting soon though, to avoid damaging the plant or having to cut into the pot.

Aeschynanthus longicaulis runner from pot drainage hole
More Information

The Aeschynanthus genus contains about 150 species, most of which are considered epiphytes.  Some are actually considered lithophytic, though.  There is more information and some good pictures of the Aeschynanthus genus here and here.


  1. Looks great Zach! How exciting that you got it to flower.

  2. Awesome Zach. I love the pics as well.

  3. I have never saw one before.I love the purple undersides of the leaves. Really pretty. Make sure to show us all a picture when it blooms.

  4. The foliage is gorgeous! I would love to see a photo when it flowers. I always get really, really interested in houseplants once winter is here :)

  5. You sure know your stuff! I use to work at a garden center and everyone wanted to know what this plant was.

  6. Thanks for the comments, everyone. For those that missed them, there are actually pictures of my blooms in the post. I know the blooms aren’t showy, but they’re there! :)

  7. I would like to purchase on of your plant call Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant vine. If you do? please give us a feed back. Please let me know as soon as possible.


  8. hi there...

    i like to know where i can get the plant... i like it....


  9. Hi, Cathy-
    I bought my plant at Lowe's. Lowe's carries the angel brand plants and this was one of them. You can check out their website at
    Take care-

  10. Hi,
    My email address is as above. I'd like to purchase any of the BLACK PAGODA from any body that wanted to sale theirs.

    Thands inadvance,
    Nue Yang

  11. Hi there!

    Zach, it semms to me that your large plant should have much more flowers,it's giant comparing to mine, all I have is 5-6 sticks 20 sm each and they are all covered in blooms; yours is very big and has only few flowers; it makes me thinks that the plant doesn' like something-might be anything, the pot is too small, soil needs be renewed, needs more water or light.I figured it likes to drink! and likes intense light;


  12. May I have more Info. regarding the Black Pagoda. I would like to buy some. Please contact me through my email.