Solandra maxima (Golden Chalice Vine)
Species: S. maxima
Binomial name: Solandra maxima
Synonyms: Solandra hartwegii, Solandra nitida, Datura maxima
Solandra selerae, Solandra guttata
Common names: Golden Chalice Vine, Cup of Gold Vine, Cup of Gold, Hawaiian Lily, Chalice vine.
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested.
Solandra maxima is a vine in the genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family native to Mexico, Central America south to Venezuela. It is related to the angel trumpets (Datura and Brugmansia species), and like them, have hallucinogenic properties. They are used in sacred ceremonies in Mexico. The genus was named to honour the 18th century Swedish botanist, Daniel Carl Solander who was one of Linnaeus' favourite students and best friend of Sir Joseph Banks and accompanied Banks on Captain Cook's travels around the world.
Solandra maxima is a vigorous, heavy, thick stemmed tropical liana with large, evergreen, shiny leaves and can grow to a hight of 12m. The elliptic leaves are >20cm long, with prominent lighter coloured midribs and lateral veins. The thick rope like stems branch frequently and root at their nodes, and can run for more than 60 m, clinging with aerial rootlets and will scrambling over everything in the way. This vine tolerates seaside conditions.
The large flowers golden yellow flowers which appear in early winter are shaped like a chalice >25 cm long and flaring open to >18 cm across. The five lobes of the corolla are reflexed, and each lobe is marked with a narrow purplish brown ridge on the inside. The flowers start out yellow and turn deeper golden as they age. They are fragrant, especially at night, with a banana or vanilla aroma.
A flower bud.
The top msurface of a leaf.
The underside of a leaf.