Return to the Gesneriad Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Gesneriad seeking name......

Posted by Calla_Lady Z8 North. Calif (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 15, 04 at 16:13

I found this plant at a plant sale with a tag stating "Gloxinia hybrid". I think somebody just decided to give it any old gessie name or was truly mistaken. I have never been one to turn down a plant without a name, but hoping somebody (Jon??? lol) will recognize it. It really looks like a fuzzy, Nematanthus to me displayed in an usual manner (staked). Some of the leaves are about 2 -3" long and the flowers at least an inch long.

Thank you for taking a look, Alicia

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Gesneriad seeking name......

  • Posted by Jon_D Northern Calif. (My Page) on
    Thu, Sep 16, 04 at 0:53

Oh yes, that old thing....(Ive been wanting to say that for a long time.). Would you like the long story or the short answer? Ok.

Well, it was back in the late 80's An organization in Florida called the Gesneriad Research Foundation, now defunct, put out a list for mail order, as a fund raiser. The SF club put together a group order and I ordered all the nematanthus, which included several new species and a bunch of new nematanthus hybrids, all made the foundation's founder and employee, botanist, Hans Wiehler. Nearly all of the hybrids and species found their way to our various gesneriad specialty growers as well as AGGS members, who do a lot of propagating. But this one got lost. I knew the name, and had a vague memory that it was one that I had ordered but hadn't seen the label in years; so I thought I had long ago lost it. Then, about 2 years ago I gathered up my nematanthus to make a list and I found that I had three pots of N. hirtellus, but one was different (and nicer). Then I dug around underneath the oak leaves and found the label. So....., this one is Nematanthus 'Petropolis', named for a beautiful city famous for its gardens in the mountains of Brazil. Hans also used Brazilian city names for other hybrids introduced that year--'Ubatuba', 'Sao Paulo', and 'Sorocaba'. Your plant must have come from the ones I propagated when I realized what it was. A plant may have gone to Strybing or it might just be that they also had the plant all these years ago at the same time as our club, but had lost the name. I think they also ordered from that GRF list (it was the only time that GRF put out a list--too bad!).

Anyway, it differs from the species hirtellus in having a bigger yellow corolla. Both have that black-maroon calyx. 'Petropolis' seems to be a faster grower and a better bloomer too. I seem to have flowers on it all summer though I really need to take better care of it. It does get leggy if left to its own devices. I recommend starting cuttings and potting up multiple cuttings in a pot, then pinching as it grows out. It looks like you use fertilizer well, so you will no doubt produce a big heavily flowering specimen. Like other nematanthus it loves being outside for most of the year, and I grow most of mine outdoors. When I found this plant, it had been outside for many years, but for some reason I moved it into the greenhouse. So, that's the short answer ;)


RE: Gesneriad seeking name......

Jon - I just knew that you would be the man with the answer! LOL. Yes this did come from Strybing and when I was trying to figure out why it had been named Gloxinia hybrid I swear I heard it whisper "....jon_d.....hehe, so I would not doubt for a moment that it is one of your babies.

Actually what you cannot see from any of these pictures is that it is loaded with buds! I foresee a long flower show ahead of me. I was thinking I would cut it back after it finished flowering. Have you ever seen a Nematanthus displayed this way? (staked). Kind of interesting, especially since they had it in with the vines, hanging out with some Manettia, Asarina, Kennedia etc (the wild crowd!)... instead of with the houseplants.

Thank you! I love the story :o)


RE: Gesneriad seeking name......

That is totally AWESOME! I thought Nematanthus was the goldfish family. I guess it all goes to show that each plant family has totally different looking members.

Thanks for the picture!

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Gesneriad Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here