Full name and orig. publication: Codonanthopsis Mansf., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 36: 120 (25 Sept. 1934).

Etymology: Composed of the generic name Codonanthe and the Greek suffix όψις, -opsis = looking like, for the similarity and close relationship with Codonanthe.

Synonyms: -

Infrafamilial position: Gesnerioid Gesneriaceae (Gesnerioideae) - Episcieae.

Description: Epiphytic lignescent herbs or subshrubs. Stem terete, thickish. Leaves strongly anisophyllous, the smaller leaf stipule-like and early caducous, shortly petiolate, lamina fleshy or papyraceous, oblanceolate-acuminate. Cymes few-flowered, shortly fasciculate. Flowers small, pedicels slender. Sepals free to base, inequal, ventral lobes longer than the dorsal ones, the latter curved and appressed to the corolla spur. Corolla white with purple, or lilac, tube cylindrical, with a dorsal spur at the base, limb with short lobes. Stamens 4; filaments adnate to corolla base, flattened and connate at base; anthers dehiscing with an apical slit. Nectary a single dorsal gland. Ovary superior, ovoid-oblong; stigma suborbicular. Fruit a fleshy capsule with loculicidal dehiscence, valves reflexed, displaying the placenta, seeds and funicles.

Chromosome number: 2n = 18.

Species number: 5.

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

Type species: Codonanthopsis ulei Mansf.

Distribution: Along the river systems of the Amazon from Peru to Brazil.

Ecology: Growing epiphytically in lowland and montane forests, sometimes associated with ants.

Notes: The genus is related to Codonanthe (into which it was merged by Moore 1973 and Skog 1979), but differs strongly in the habit (stiff and ascending branches, markedly anisophyllous leaves), the chromosome number, the narrow connective and the capsular display fruit. Some species are occasionally found in ant's nests.

Selected references: Moore, Bailey 19: 4-33 (1973), rev. of Codonanthe; Skog, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 65: 783-996 (1979), reg. rev. of Codonanthe (Panama); Wiehler, Selbyana 6: 193 (1983), emend.; Chautems in Ribeiro & al., Fl. Res. Ducke (1999), reg. rev.; Feuillet & Steyermark, Fl. Venezuel. Guayana 5 (1999), reg. rev.

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


Codonanthopsis ulei Mansf., type species

Left: Marie Selby BG, phot. A. Weber (1982)
Right: flowers, phot. L.E. Skog


last modified: 2007-01-05