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Please help ID wild Ecuador rainforest Gesnerid

Posted by ecophotog 5b Michigan (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 11, 06 at 2:02

I think this plant is a Gesnerid, but I admit that I'm not totally sure of that. At first I thought it was an Episcia but the flowers are globose and that doesn't seem to fit.

This plant was growing in the lowland wet forest, not far from the Rio Napo, in eastern Ecuador. Under very heavy and intact primary forest canopy... quite dark on the ground where this was growing.

I'd really appreciate any help in finding the ID.
Here are some images of it: copy.jpg copy.jpg copy.jpg

TIA for any suggestions. Joe

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Please help ID wild Ecuador rainforest Gesnerid

  • Posted by komi z7/8 DC (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 11, 06 at 10:46

It looks like Pearcea hypocyrtiflora.

oh, and a link

  • Posted by komi z7/8 DC (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 11, 06 at 10:54

I meant to give you this link as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Genera of Gesneriaceae

RE: Please help ID wild Ecuador rainforest Gesnerid

Thanks for the help. I think you're right about the ID.

Here's a link with more pictures:

This diminutive rhizomatous plant has very attractive and colorful foliage, as well as unusual brilliantly red flowers. The lobes of the flowers do not open except under optimum conditions. The flowers are probably hummingbird pollinated. They grow in colonies in tropical rain forests.

Thanks, Joe

RE: Please help ID wild Ecuador rainforest Gesnerid

  • Posted by jon_d Northern Calif. (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 11, 06 at 16:06

It certainly looks like P. hypocyrtiflora. There are other pearceas, formerly parakohleria, which come from Ecuador. But, the other species do not resemble hypocyrtiflora that closely. Its a gem of a plant, which is in cultivation. It is not hard to grow as long as it is enclosed and given sufficient root run. I have had plants that filled a large covered aquarium with offsets, from runners. But, mine flowered with fairly tall peduncles, while others have had flowers on shorter stems like yours. There is some clonal variation, and two or three have been in cultivation though some of these are probably lost. Currently the Ecuadorian orchid nursery, Ecuagenera is selling this species at orchid shows in the US. I expect to see their booth next week at the orchid show in San Francisco.

Thanks for showing us a photo from the wild. Ecuador is very rich in gesneriads, with new species being discovered all the time.


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