The flowers are named after Parisian doctor Charles Bouvard, personal physician to Louis XIII and director of the Jardin des Plantes.
Bouvardia are certainly not common flowers. If you study them closely, you find loose clusters of tubular starlet flowers fringed with leaves and carried on tall stalks. Each stem, resembles a small bouquet in bright firework colours. They also have a faint delicate scent.
Native to Mexico. Introduced to the UK in 1854, but are chiefly grown in sub-tropical zones and under glass in Holland.
Shades of pinks and red as well as white.
All year round.
Their closest relatives are the fabulously fragrant gardenias.
They have wonderful names like 'Pink Luck', 'Royal Katty' and 'Albatross'.
Cut the stems at a slant with a sharp knife and don't forget to use the special flower food usually provided for bouvardia. They are particularly prone to water loss and should not be left out of water. If you do not have the special flower food, recut the stems frequently and remove excess foliage.