Rothmannia globosa (Hochst.) Keay

September Bells

Mostly a shrubby plant to about 5 m or so tall but may grow much larger. Leaves elliptic to lanceolate, 5-10 cm long, 1-3 cm wide, the midrib and lateral veins pale, sometimes reddish. Domatia generally present at vein junctions on lower surface. Flowers mostly 2-4 together, each less than 4 cm wide, sometimes flecked with pink in the throat, about 2.5 cm long, 3.5 cm wide, solitary or in 2-4s; Aug-Nov. Fruit round, about 2.5 cm wide, hard and with a persistent calyx. [Gardenia globosa Hochst.]

S Africa

The powdered roots are used to treat leprosy.


Both R. capensis Thunb., Candlewood, and R. fischeri (K. Schum.) Bullock, both from S Africa, are occasionally available: they have solitary flowers more than 5 cm wide, the former with reddish markings inside the throat, the latter with red markings outside the throat.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Rubiaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Gentianales
family       Rubiaceae
genus        Rothmannia Thunb.