I don't see anyone growing Solandra maxima--I don't grow it myself, though I might if I had ever seen one for sale, which I haven't. It is far out of fashion, but perhaps it should not be. Plants go in and out of fashion just as do outdoor pizza ovens, koi ponds, trash compactors, and blue fiberglass pool slides. Once upon a time a lot of gardeners were growing Solandra maxima, I imagine, just as once upon a time nearly everyone in Southern California had a Hollywood Juniper (Juniperus chinensis 'Torulosa') or two in their yard, which is how they ended up named for Hollywood, a moderate, well-behaved evergreen tree next to the kidney-shaped pool with the sun-bleached blue fiberglass pool slide. Hollywood Juniper are growing rare here, and the kidney-shaped pool is vanishing too.
Solandra maxima pruned as a shrub
Solandra maxima? The only place I've ever seen them is at the local Trader Joe's strip mall, where they are grown as shrubs against pillars aside the parking spaces. And they grow well and thrive, stuffed between concrete and stucco on one side, asphalt and car fumes on the other. This is a tough subtropical vine, but the stems get thick and strong, and our examples have been pruned into shrubs as a stairway of rigid vertical stems. Cut back, they bloom, and rebloom. The flowers are as big as your open hand and account for the common name, "Cup Of Gold Vine".
I expect to see the same utterly mundane commercial plantings everywhere, namely Rhaphiolepis indica and generic yellow day lilys. Indeed, this strip mall has them as well. The Rhaphiolepis indica are there in their drab ubiquity, while the day lilys, thoroughly trampled by foot traffic, are in deep decline. The thriving Solandra maxima are a rare and an uncommon delight. People were giving me odd looks as I snapped pictures. What's so interesting about a bush?