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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/5/2013)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 8/5/2013)
Family GESNERIACEAE
Contributor LAURENCE E. SKOG
Description Epiphytic or terrestrial herbs, subshrubs, shrubs, small trees, or vines, some- times arising from tubers, or scaly rhizomes, or stolons; stems herbaceous, fleshy, suffrutescent to woody, erect, ascending, pendent, or scandent, simple or branched, usually pubescent at least toward the apex. Leaves opposite, rarely whorled or alternate, equal to strongly unequal, simple, entire to variously toothed, membranous, fleshy, or coriaceous; petioles usually present. Inflores- cences axillary or terminal, the flowers solitary or in modified cymes or racemes, occasionally fasciculate. Flowers perfect; usually zygomorphic, rarely nearly actinomorphic; the floral tube composed of the combined adnate bases of the calyx, the corolla, and the stamens, short or long, in some genera surrounding and adnate to the inferior ovary; calyx of 4-5 lobes, free or connate at the base, equal or unequal, green or colored, entire or variously toothed; corolla variously
Habit herbs, subshrubs, shrubs, small trees, or vines
Description colored, with a short or long tube of 5 connate petals, often oblique in the calyx, often gibbous to saccate at the base, cylindric, ventricose, or ampliate above, the limb of 4 or 5 equal or unequal lobes, sometimes bilabiate, erect or spreading to reflexed; stamens 4 (Panama), with or without a staminode, or 5, included or exserted, usually didynamous, the filaments adnate to the base of the corolla tube, usually coiling or retracting after pollen shedding, the anthers variously shaped, coherent at first, dehiscing by pores or longitudinal slits; disc absent, or if present, annular or of 1-5 separate or connate nectariferous glands; ovary superior to inferior, 1-celled or rarely 2-celled, the 2 placentas parietal, the style usually elongating as the stamens retract, simple, the stigma usually bibbed or stomatomorphic (mouth-shaped). Fruit a berry or a dry or fleshy capsule, 2- or 4-valved; seeds numerous, more or less fusiform or oblong, very small, usually striate or otherwise variously marked.
Distribution The approximately 120 genera with an estimated 2,000 species of the Gesneri- aceae are distributed throughout the world in tropical areas, rarely reaching into warm temperate regions.
Note Many of the species are in cultivation as pot plants in temperate areas, prized for their flowers, particularly the African violet and the florist's gloxinia. From Panama have come into cultivation many species of Columnea and other genera. Other than in horticulture the family has little economic value. The Gesneriaceae are divided into 2 subfamilies, the Cyrtandroideae, found primarily in the Old World, and the Gesnerioideae, almost exclusively found nat- urally in the New World tropics. Morphologically, the 2 subfamilies are distin- guished on characters of cotyledon development (Burtt, 1963). The flowers are animal pollinated, either by bees, birds, particularly hum- mingbirds, butterflies, moths, and bats. The epiphytic habit is common in the Gesneriaceae allowing flying animals to visit for pollen and nectar, and for seed dispersal, although some species may have seeds dispersed by water or wind. Twenty-seven genera and 147 species occur in Panama, one of the most concentrated areas of distribution for the Gesneriaceae. Many of the genera and species occur also in Costa Rica and Colombia, or even farther north through Central America or south through the South American continent. It was with considerable reluctance that this treatment was undertaken. Several botanists, including the late Conrad V. Morton, had begun the work in the past but, for one reason or another, it was not completed. Because of the urgency of the impending deadline for the completion of the Flora of Panama, the Missouri Botanical Garden wished to have, if possible, the treatment pro- duced in a short time by someone familiar with the Gesneriaceae. Subsequently, the present author was asked to produce -a treatment, as the most recent attempt by Hans Wiehler (Selby Botanical Gardens) could not be completed within the projected schedule. Only with the assurances of cooperation and support was the work begun. It will be seen that some of the recently described species from Panamat are known only from the original descriptions as the types deposited at SEL were not available for study. In a few cases additional material attributable to those new taxa was seen and allowed the species to be better known. Several new species had been discovered and annotated with herbarium names by Wiehler. It was hoped that these as yet unpublished names would be validated before the completion of this treatment of the Gesneriaceae. Rather than use unpublished names or take away credit for identifying the species as new, I have provided a description for the new but as yet unpublished species in the genera Cremosperma, Drymonia, and Paradrymonia, but have given them only a letter designation (e.g. Cremosperrna species A). It is hoped that these species will soon be supplied with valid names.
Reference Burtt, B. L. 1963. Studies on the Gesneriaceae of the Old World XXIV. Tenta- tive keys to the tribes and genera. Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 24(3):205-220. Davidse, G. 1970. Gesneriaceae. In IOPB chromosome number reports 25. Taxon 19: 103. Eberle, P. 1956. Cytologische Untersuchungen an Gesneriaceen, I. Chromosoma 8: 285-316. Fritsch, K. 1893-1894. Gesneriaceae. In Engler & Prantl. Die natiirlichen Pflanzenfamilien 4(3b): 133-144. 1893; 145-185. 1894. Fussell, C. P. 1958. Chromosome numbers in the Gesneriaceae. Baileya 6:117-125. Gibson, D. N. 1974. Gesneriaceae. In P. Standley & L. Williams, Flora of Guatemala, Part X, number 3. Fieldiana, Bot. 24: 240-313. Hanstein, J. 1854-1865. Die Gesneracecn des Konigl. Herbariums und der Girten zu Berlin. Linnaea 26: 145-216. 1854; 27: 693-785. 1856; 29: 497-592. 1859; 34: 225-462. 1865. Lee, R. E. 1962. Chromosome numbers in the Gesneriaceae. Baileya 10: 33-45. Lee, R. E. 1964. Additional chromosome numbers in the Gesneriaceae. Baileya 12: 159. Lee, R. E. 1966a. Additional chromosome numbers in the Gesneriaceae. Baileya 14: 35-36. Lee, R. E. 1966b. Additional chromosome numbers in the Gesneriaceae. Baileya 14: 142. Lee, R. E. 1967. Additional chromosome numbers in the Gesneriaceae. Baileya 15: 118. Lee, R. E. & J. W. Grear. 1963. Additional chromosome numbers in the Ges- neriaceae. Baileya 11: 131. Leeuwenberg, A. J. M. 1958. The Gesneriaceae of Guiana. Bot. Mus. Herb. Rijks Univ. Utrecht 146: 291-444; and Acta Bot. Necrl. 7: 291-444. Moore, H. E. 1957. African Violets, Gloxinias, and their relatives. 323 pages. Morton, C. V. 1938. Gesneriaceae, in P. Standley, Flora of Costa Rica, Publ. Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Bot. Ser. 18: 1137-1187. 1944. Taxonomic studies of tropical American plants. Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 29: 1-40. Oersted, A. S. 1858. Centralamericas Gesneraceer, et systematisk, plante- geographisk Bidrag til Centralamerikas Flora. 78 pp., 11 pl. Ratter, J. A. 1963. Some chromosome numbers in the Gesneriaceae. Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 25: 221-229. Rogers, 0. M. 1954. Some chromosome counts in the Gesneriaceae. Baileya 2: 14-18. Skog, L. E. 1976. A study of the tribe Gesnerieae, with a revision of Gesneria (Gesneriaceae: Gesnerioideae). Smithsonian Contr. Bot. 29: 1-182, 86 fig. Standley, P. C. 1926. Gesneriaceae in Trees and Shrubs of Mexico. Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 23: 1325-1331. 1928. Gesneriaceae in Flora of the Panama Canal Zone. Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 27: 344-346. Wiehler, H. 1970. The Gesneriaceae in Panama. Ms., unpublished; 17 pp., Missouri Botanical Garden. Wiehler, H. 1972. Chromosome numbers in some American Gesneriaceae. Baileya 18: 118-120. Wiehler, H. 1976. Flora of Panama: Family Gesneriaceae [species list]. Ms., un- published; Library, Missouri Botanical Garden, 11 pp. Wilson, C. L. 1974. Floral anatomy in Gesneriaceae II. Gesnerioideae. Bot. Gaz. (Crawfordsville) 135: 256-268.
Key a. Inflorescences terminal, rarely flowers in axils also, flowers in racemes; plants terrestrial from scaly rhizomes, or tubers, dying back to ground after flowering; ovary half to fully inferior, seldom nearly superior; fruit a dry capsule. b. Leaves in a rosette, silver or white spotted above. ...... 14. Koellikeria bb. Leaves cauline, not silver or white spotted above. c. Corollas red, not white or bluish; leaves sometimes whorled. d. Plants arising from tubers; ovary nearly superior; upper corolla lobes much longer than the other three, limb distinctly bilabiate ...... 26. Sinningia dd. Plants arising from scaly rhizomes; ovary 2/i inferior; upper corolla lobes barely longer than the other, limb nearly regular ...... 15. Kohleria cc. Corollas not red, but white to cream, bluish or purplish; leaves not whorled. e. Tube of the corolla funnelform; disc glands 2-5 obvious; plants slender, seldom more than 25 cm tall ...... 9. Diasteina ee. Tube of the corolla campanulate; disc glands lacking or very much reduced; plants often coarse, larger than 25 cm tall. f. Leaves acute to cordate, and not oblique at the base, often smooth above; floral tube grooved; corolla blue to lavender with a purple spot on the lower inside, rarely white ...... 13. Gloxinia ff. Leaves oblique at the base, often areolate above; floral tube not grooved; corolla usually white with a yellow area within, occasionally with bluish limb or all blue ...... 16. Monopyle aa. Inflorescences axillary, not terminal, flowers in cymes or modified cymes, sometimes congested or solitary; plants usually lacking modified underground stems, or with scaly rhizomes, or rarely tubers, terrestrial or epiphytic; ovary inferior to superior; fruit a berry or a dry or fleshy capsule. g. Plants producing stolons, terrestrial low herbs; fruit a fleshy capsule; flowers solitary, rarely more, corollas white to blue or red ...... 11. Episcia gg. Plants lacking stolons, terrestrial or epiphytic, of various habit; fruit a berry or a dry or fleshy capsule; flowers of various numbers, corollas variously colored. h. Corollas subactinomorphic, usually white, rarely bluish or pinkish; plants low terrestrial herbs. i. Plants arising from scaly rhizomes; stem obvious; ovary half-in-ferior ...... 23. Phinaea ii. Plants lacking underground stems, acaulescent with the leaves closely appressed to the ground, or with a very short stem; ovary superior ...... 18. Napeanthits hh. Corollas zygomorphic, tube usually elongate, corollas usually red, but occasionally white, purplish, greenish, orange or pink; plants terrestrial or epiphytic herbs, subshrubs, shrubs, or small trees. j. Ovary half to fully inferior. k. Low terrestrial herbs; plants from scaly rhizomes. k'. Disc annular, entire 1. Achimenes k". Disc of 5 separate glands, rarely 2 or 3 connate ...... 9. Diastema kk. Large shrubs, epiphytes or small trees; plants lacking under-ground stems (or rarely occurring in Capanea). 1. Corollas campanulate, pale green to greenish-white, with purple spots; plants usually epiphytic and scandent, seldom terrestrial ...... 4. Capanea 11. Corollas slender, ventricose or gradually broader from the base, red; plants terrestrial, erect. m. Calyx tube elongate above the ovary; corollas 5.5-7.0 cm long; small trees ...... 27. Solenophora mm. Calyx tube very short above the ovary; corollas 4 cm or less long; shrubs ...... 17. Moussonia jj. Ovary nearly to fully superior. n. Leaves truly alternate, terrestrial plants ...... 24. Reldia nn. Leaves opposite, sometimes strongly unequal and the smaller leaf in a pair bract-like or caducous; terrestrial or epiphytic plants. o. Plants from tubers, terrestrial; stems succulent; leaves op- posite and equal; calyx lobes red or green, all connate nearly to apex ...... 5. Chrysothemis oo. Plants lacking tubers, rarely with any underground stem, terrestrial or epiphytic; stems occasionally succulent, more commonly herbaceous to woody; leaves opposite, but often unequal; calyx lobes red or green, but not all connate to the apex. p. Plants terrestrial or at the base of trees; disc annular, somewhat lobed, or unlobed, or rarely reduced to a single posterior gland (Gasteranthus dressleri), but then the plants very short with leaves appressed to ground; inflorescences bractless. q. Stems very short, to 15 cm tall; corolla narrowly funnelform, less than 1.3 cm long; leaves less than 6.6 cm long, membranous; fruit a capsule ...... 8. Cremosperma qq. Stems usually much taller than 15 cm; corollas tubular, ventricose or subcampanulate, usually more than 1.3 cm long; leaves usually much more than 7 cm long; membranous to coriaceous; fruit a berry or capsule. r. Fruit a berry; disc annular to semiannular; corollas usually tubular, rarely subcampanu- late, spur not prominent ...... 3. Besleria rr. Fruit a capsule; disc semiannular, with a posterior thickening, or reduced to a single gland; corollas usually subcampanulate, ampliate, and with a prominent spur ...... 12. G asteranthus pp. Plants epiphytic or terrestrial; disc usually reduced to a single posterior gland or 2-5 separate glands; in- florescences rarely lacking bracts, but bracts sometimes caducous. s. Anthers dehiscing by pores; corollas spurred; usually epiphytic, but sometimes terrestrial in large-leaved taxa in Drymonia; fruit a berry or fleshy capsule. t. Leaves always glabrous, 6 cm long or less; plants all epiphytic, often on ant nests; corollas waxy, with pink or red areas; bracts small, green -6. Codonanthe tt. Leaves pubescent or glabrous, usually much longer than 6 cm long; plants epiphytic or terrestrial; corollas variously colored from white to purple; bracts often large and colored ...... 10. Drymonia ss. Anthers dehiscing by longitudinal slits; corollas spurred or not; epiphytic or terrestrial; fruit a berry or a dry or fleshy capsule. u. Fruit a berry; plants epiphytic, rarely terrestrial. v. Flowers congested in the leaf axils; plants epiphytic; stems erect or as- cending; leaves nearly equal in a pair; corollas white suffused with pink or red, or red on the upper side. W. Fruit apically pointed; corolla tubular, inflated, white and red, or pink flushed ...... 21. Oerstedina ww. Fruit globose or compressed; corolla broadly funnelform, some-what bilabiate, lower side and lower 3 lobes white, upper 2 lobes reddish ...... 25. Rufodorsia vv. Flowers not congested in the leaf axils; plants mainly epiphytic, seldom terres- trial; stems often pendent, but some-times erect or ascending; leaves equal to very unequal in a pair; corolla usually red or yellow with variously colored lines or spots (white with pink or brown spots in Neomodtonia). x. Inflorescences lacking bracts, 1-flowered; corolla broadly funnel-form, the lower lobe nearly erect, the others patent, margin laciniate; plants pendent; leaves 1.8 cm long or less, blades nearly equal in a pair; disc reduced to a single dorsal gland ...... 20. Neomortonia xx. Inflorescences bearing bracts, although sometimes caducous, 1-few flowered; corolla variously shaped, but lower lobe erect if the other lobes erect, usually re-flexed, lobes rarely patent, mar- gin entire to erose; plants erect to penclent, leaves usually much longer than 1.8 cm, blades in a pair equal to strongly unequal; disc of 1-5 glands ...... 7. Columnea uu. Fruit a dry or fleshy capsule; plants usually terrestrial, but rarely epiphytic, except in Paradrymonia. y. Corolla white to yellow with purple lines or spots, rarely reddish or all purple; red or yellow, tube densely puberulent, hirsute or white sericeous, lobes very short; leaves elliptic, oblong, ovate or obovate ...... 2. Alloplectus yy. Corolla white to yellow with purple lines or spots, rarely reddish or all purple; tube sparsely pubescent or vil- lous; lobes elongate; leaves usually elongate lanceolate. z. Stem often very short, much exceeded by the elongate lanceolate leaves; flowers densely congested in the leaf axils (except long-pedunculate in Paradrymonia pedunculata), corollas white or yellow to purplish,with red or purple lines; plants usually epiphytic ...... 22. Paradryymonia zz. Stem usually longer than the leaves; flowers not congested, corollas white or cream, occasionally with pink lines; plants terrestrial ...... 19. Nautilocalyx
 
 
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