Specimen, Eustoma (English)

Custis' Specimen: Eustoma grandiflorum


Eustoma grandiflorum (Raf.) Shinners, a member of the Gentianacea family, has been domesticated, and is more likely to be seen in a well-groomed household garden than in the wilds. The original annotation in the lower right-hand corner of the specimen sheet, signed by Custis, reflects his uncertainty over the species. It reads "Chironia? or Grandiflorum?"


The common name of Eustoma grandiflorum is lisianthus, a combination of the Greek words lysis, meaning bitter, and anthos, meaning flower--referring to the bitter taste of some medicinal species. Lisianthus comes in various colors, ranging from white to red to purple, and pink to blue. It is frequently used in floral displays and corsages.