Full name and orig. publication: Bournea Oliv., in Hook. f., Icon. pl., ser. 4, 23, tab. 2254 (May 1893).

Etymology: Named after F.S.A. Bourne, a businessman and botanical collector in China (between 1896 and 1898).

Synonyms: -

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

Description: Perennial, acaulescent rosette herbs. Leaves petiolate; petiole densely strigose or villose; lamina ovate to oblong-ovate, margin entire or crenate-sinuate, both surfaces strigose. Cymes umbelliform, peduncle long, densely strigose; bracteoles fairly long, linear-lanceolate. Sepals 4 or 5, narrowly triangular, puberulous outside. Corolla equalling calyx in length, purple, campanulate, 4- or 5-lobed, lobes equal, rounded. Stamens 4 or 5, slightly exserted; filaments inserted in throat between the corolla lobes; anthers dorsifixed, thecae parallel, locules apically not confluent. Nectary cyathiform. Ovary slender cylindrical; style short; stigma bilobed. Capsule linear-oblanceolate, bivalved, dehiscence loculicidal.

Chromosome number: Unknown.

Species number: 2 [B. sinensis Oliv., B. leiophylla (W.T.Wang) W.T.Wang & K.Y.Pan].

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

Type species: Bournea sinensis Oliv.

Distribution: SE China (Guangdong, SW Fujian). 

Ecology: Growing on rocks in forests, in shady places and by the sides of streams; 300-1000 m.

Notes: Characteristic of the genus are the regular, 4- or 5-merous campanulate corolla, which scarcely overtops the calyx, and the scapose, umbelliform cymes with long bracteoles. Burtt (1958b: 314) stressed the similarity and probable relationship with the genus Tengia and the diandrous Petrocodon.

Selected references: Wang et al. in Wu & Raven (eds.), Fl. China 18: 249-250 (1998) (Chinese spp.).

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


Bournea sinensis Oliv., type species

Ying T.S. et al., The endemic genera of seed plants of China, Fig. 104.1 (1993); with permission.


Bournea sinensis Oliv., type species

Li Z.Y & Wang Y.Z., Plants of Gesneriaceae in China, Figs.  1.6 & 1.7 (2004); with permission.


Bournea leiophylla  (W.T.Wang) W.T.Wang & K.Y.Pan

Li Z.Y & Wang Y.Z., Plants of Gesneriaceae in China, Figs. 1.4 and 1.5 (2004); with permission.


last modified: 2007-06-12