A climbing, semi-herbaceous plant in this country, mostly dying back in winter, but several yards high in its native country. Leaves pinnate, glaucous, composed of four to eight leaflets, each of which has a stalk as long, or longer than its blade, the common stalk often ending in a sort of tendril. Leaflets ovate to roundish, or sometimes two- or three-lobed, mostly heart-shaped at the base, 1 to 3 in. long, with well-marked, netted veins; quite glabrous and not toothed. Flower solitary, on a ribbed stalk 5 to 6 in. long, pitcher-shaped, nodding; 1 in. long, 3⁄4 in. wide at the base, much narrowed towards the mouth, of various shades of red from scarlet to purplish. Sepals thick, narrowly ovate, with the points slightly reflexed, downy at the margins. Seed-vessels ending in a feathery style, 11⁄2 in. long. Bot. Mag., t. 6594.
Native of Texas; discovered in 1850 and introduced in 1868. This species is rather tender, and needs some protection in winter. At Kew it lives outside, at the foot of a south wall. The flowers are variable in shade, but the rich red form in cultivation is unique in colour among cultivated species. Hybridised with the large-flowered varieties of the Patens and other groups it has given some very distinct and handsome varieties, such as ‘Gravetye Beauty’, ‘Countess of Onslow’, ‘Duchess of Albany’ and ‘Etoile Rose’. All are herbaceous or semi-woody climbers growing up to about 10 ft high, with small flowers in some shade of red, borne from June or July until late autumn. They are best grown as companions to wall shrubs, through which they will scramble harmlessly, but need a sunny position.
cv. ‘Major’ has flowers up to 11⁄2 in. long.