Bouvardia was named in honour of Charles Bouvard, who lived in the 17th century, and was physician to Louis XIII, King of France. It is said to represent enthusiasm and is given as a gift for those who have a zest for life.
The Bouvardia is native to Mexico and tropical America, namely Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Other species can also be found in Europe and Canada, and while introduced to the UK as long ago as 1854, they are chiefly grown in sub-tropical zones and under glass in Holland.
A relatively uncommon bloom, Bouvardia’s delicately scented loose clusters of tubular starlet flowers are fringed with leaves and carried on tall stalks, interspersed with large, deep-green pointed leaves. Each stem resembles a small bouquet in bright, cheerful colours, in various shades of pink, yellow, orange, red and white.
Bouvardia will typically bloom between May and October and can live for up to 10 years.
Bouvardia is a genus of flowering plants in the Rubiaceae family, which contains about 30 species of evergreen herbs and shrubs. This flowering shrub is also known as ‘Firecracker bush’, ‘Trumpetellia’ and ‘Hummingbird flower’.
Their closest relatives are the fabulously fragrant Gardenias, with varieties of wonderful names like ‘Pink luck’, ‘Royal Katty’ and ‘Albatross’.
The soil should be fertile and contain roughly equal proportions of clay, silt and soil, allowing for easy drainage, and the ideal site is preferably in full or at least partial sunlight. These plants require watering daily in the summer and fertilising monthly with a water-soluble plant food.
Did you know?
This plant was virtually forgotten from the 1800s until about twenty years ago when a Dutch breeder began developing a dwarfed version of it, which was produced for use as a houseplant in 1997.