Full name and orig. publication: Boea [Comm. ex] Lam., Encycl. Méth. 1: 401, fr. Béole (1783), ed. nouv. Padua 1: 396 (1 Aug. 1785, "1784").

Etymology: Named after M. le Beau, brother-in-law of Philibert Commerson, who was the first to collect a Boea species. 

Synonym: Dorcoceras Bunge (1833), Chleterus Raf. (1814), nom. illeg.

Infrafamilial position: Didymocarpoid Gesneriaceae - "Advanced Asiatic and Malesian genera" (Weber 2004).

Description: Perennial, rosulate or caulescent herbs, sometimes woody at base. Leaves opposite, spiral in some rosulate species, with indumentum of long eglandular simple hairs. Cymes, few- to many-flowered, variously dichasial or monochasial, bracteoles small, inconspicuous. Sepals free to base. Corolla white, bluish or violet, obliquely campanulate or with short tube and flat limb, subequally 5-lobed or distinctly bilabiate and then upper lip bilobed and paler than the darker violet shortly 3-lobed lower lip. Stamens 2; filaments curved, when exserted strongly upcurved, thickened and bright yellow; anthers with widely divergent thecae, cohering face to face, usually cream or pale brownish. Ovary cylindrical or conical-cylindrical, passing smoothly into the style; stigma small, capitate. Fruit a loculicidally dehiscent capsule, spirally twisted.

Chromosome number: 2n = 16, 32.

Species number: 14.

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

Type species: Boea magellanica Lam.

Distribution: S China, NE India, N Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Sulawesi, Sumbawa, Flores, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Bismarck and Louisiade archipelago, Australia.


Notes: In the emended sense of Burtt (1984) Boea differs from Paraboea essentially in the indumentum (simple vs. arachnoid-interwoven hairs). The three anomalous species then included [B. herbacea, B. minutiflora, and B. (Paraboea) bettiana] have been accommodated in separate genera in the meantime: Kaisupeea, Senyumia, and Emarhendia

Selected references: Burtt, Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 41: 401-452 (1984), emend. & rev.; Zhou & Guo, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 29: 477-478 (1991); Wang et al. in Wu & Raven (eds.), Fl. China 18: 367-368 (1998) (Chinese spp.); Burtt, Thai Forest Bull. (Botany) 29: 81-109 (2001), annot. checklist (Thailand).

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


Boea magellanica Lam., type species

Lam., Encycl. 1: t. 15 (1797), original illustration

Boea hygroscopica F.Muell.

Cult. RBG Edinburgh, phot. A. Weber (2002)

Boea lawesii H.O.Forbes

Above left: habit
Above right: habit
Left: close-up of flower
Cult. BG Vienna, phot. A. Weber (1988)


last modified: 2007-01-05