Allamanda cathartica and other Allamanda species, hybrids & cultivars
Allamandas are old favourites for subtropical gardens and worth a fresh look given the renewed need for tough plants that can withstand drought.
The most familiar are the yellow climbing (or scambling) types. Semi-shrubs and shrubs are also available, while new cultivars have expanded the colour range. One of the traditional yellow forms would certainly be appropriate for someone trying to recreate a traditional Queensland garden. Any colour would be an asset to a tropical garden.
Other species include:
A. schotii (=A. nerifolia)
A. violaceae (= A. blanchetii, A. purpurea)
Some of the cultivars currently available on the market are hybrids. Most Allamandas have a climbing habit, but modern hybrids like 'Cherry Ripe' can be trained as shrubs, especially if they have a little support.
You'll be able to buy at least one or two types of allamanda in most retail garden centres and hardware garden departments in sub/tropical parts of Qld. However, you may have to hunt around to find the more obscure species/varieties for sale.
Be aware that the common yellow type(s) has weed potential in vulnerable areas (see links below). If you're unsure, check with relevant local authorities.
Some Allamanda Varieties
Allamanda 'Hendersonii', commonly known as 'Brown Bud'. This is the most common variety seen around older gardens in Brisbane.
Allamanda in a suburban Brisbane garden (March 2013), presumably the cultivar sold here under the name Cherry Ripe.
It is not clear if the double cultivars referred to by various authorities as 'Floreoplena', 'Stansills's Double' and 'Halley's Comet' are different or simply different names for the same plant. This plant may be one (or all) of these. The flowers are smaller than the common It/they derive from Allamanda cathartica 'Williamsii' which is a single flower. However, the double is sometimes called 'Williamsii', too.
This might be the single Allamanda cathartica 'Williamsii' cultivar. Some of the buds show light brown colouration but they are not as strongly coloured as 'Hendersonii'. The flowers also have less colour in the throats and are smaller than 'Hendersonii'.
Bush allamanda Allamanda schottii (synonym Allamanda neriifolia). Forms a free-standing shrub rather than a vine. Another common name was oleander allamanda (Oleander being genus Nerium, hence the specific epithet "neriifolia", meaning "foliage like Nerium")
Unknown variety but probably 'Jamaican Sunset'.
More Allamandas in the Landscape
Get some ideas about how you might use them in your garden. Click for larger images.
Allamanda cultivation was covered more thoroughly in Get Results Gardening in the 11-03-2022 edition. Click on the banner below ☟ to learn how to get a free trial and learn more about gardening in Australia, especially subtropical SE QLD and NNSW.