St. Vincent and Grenadines Association of Toronto


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Foreground: Lily pond
Background: Doric Temple with Allamanda Fountain
Inset: Allamanda cathartica L.
[Photos by Fred Prescod]

The Doric Temple in the background of the above photograph was built in the early 1900's during the tenure of Mr William Sands, the Superintendent of Agriculture, and a fountain was constructed within the temple in the shape of an Allamanda flower. The Allamanda flower is the feature of this discussion in our Nature Corner.

Known variously as Allamanda, Yellow allamanda, Golden trumpet, and Buttercup, the botanical name of the species featured here is Allamanda cathartica L. The plant is a member of the family Apocynaceae (the same as the oleander) and is native to Brazil. It grows as a shrub or vine up to 6 m (20 ft.). The long-tubular, golden yellow flowers are about 7.5 cm (3 in.) across by 10 cm (4 in.) long.

Allamanda is named after J.N.S. Allamand, an eighteenth-century Dutch Professor of Natural History at Leiden University. Allamand was a specialist in the flora of Brazil, and a contemporary of Carl Linnaeus who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of naming plants. The specific epithet cathartica hints of cathartic or laxative properties, for which the latex has been used in some countries. All parts of the plant can be severely cathartic if ingested in quantity, and the sap may cause rash on sensitive skin.

Fred Prescod
Horticultural Educator


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