Full name and orig. publication: Asteranthera [Klotzsch & Hanst. ex] Hanst., Linnaea 26: 211 (April 1954, "1853").

Etymology: From the Greek άστηρ, astēr = star, and άνθηρα, and anthēra = anther, alluding to the apically coherent anthers forming a star-like figure.

Infrafamilial position: Coronantheroid Gesneriaceae (or Gesnerioideae–Coronanthereae).

Description: Epiphytic or terrestrial, creeping-climbing shrubs. Stem and branches thin, woody, rooting at the basal nodes. Leaves opposite, small, shortly petiolate, lamina elliptic, membranous-coriaceous, dark green and hairy above, whitish and glabrous below. Flowers axillary, solitary, erect; bracteoles small, lanceolate, inserted below the calyx. Sepals nearly free to base, narrow-triangular, dentate. Corolla red, with whitish lines on tube, lobes mottled, infundibuliform-galeate; tube slightly constricted above the base and then gradually widening; limb strongly bilabiate, upper lip a long galea, consisting of two connate lobes, projecting forwards, lower lip of three spreading or slightly reflexed, ovate lobes. Stamens 4, held below the galea, filaments inserted above base of corolla tube; anthers cordate, cross-wise coherent. Disc a dorsally thickened ring, adnate to ovary base. Ovary ovoid-oblong, bilocular; style long, slender; stigma small, stomatomorphic. Fruit a fleshy berry.

Chromosome numbers: Unknown.

Type and only species: Asteranthera ovata Hanst.

Species names (incl. publication and synonyms): See Skog, L.E. & J.K. Boggan. 2005: World checklist of Gesneriaceae:

Distribution: S Chile and adjacent Argentina. 

Ecology: Growing as an epiphyte or terrestrially in cool rain forests.

Notes: The red, arcuate flowers suggest bird-pollination.

Selected references: Wiehler, Selbyana 6: 159 (1983); Zollner, Palmengarten 35: 25-27 (1991).

Bibliography: See Skog, L.E. & J.K. Boggan. 2005. Bibliography of the Gesneriaceae. 2nd edition:


Asteranthera ovata Hanst., only species

Cavandish, Icon., fig. 39 (1791) 
Right: R. Myhr, The Gesneriad Reference Web
Chile, phot. W. Teague


last modified: 2007-01-08