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View of Buck Island from East End, St. Croix, USVI

Plants - Cup of Gold Flowers

Scientific & Common Names:

Solandra nitida, are commonly know as cup of gold, trumpt flower, or chalice vines

Native to:

The CaribbeanMexico, Central and South Americas

Description:

Cup of gold is a striking vine with glossy leaves and large showy white to bright yellow flowers that are 6 to 8 inches long and are chalice shaped.  They have a yellow corolla , with 5 purple lines. Cup of gold blooms intermittently through the year, usually from February until May. The thick and woody ropelike stems branch frequently and root at their nodes, and can run for more than 30 to 40 feet, clinging with aerial rootlets and scrambling over everything in the way. The evergreen leaves are leathery, about 6 inches long and elliptic, with prominent lighter colored midribs and lateral veins. They are fragrant, especially at night, with a scent reminiscent of coconut. The fruits, rarely seen in cultivation, are round berries, about 2 inches in diameter.

Medicinal Uses:

In Mexico, the cup of gold is used in folk medicine, primarily as a love drink and aphrodisiac. The Huastec use the rainwater or dew that has collected in the buds of the cup of gold as eye drops to improve sight. A tea made from the flowers is also drunk to treat coughing