Full name and orig. publication: Colpogyne B.L.Burtt, in Humbert & Leroy, Fl. Madagascar et Comores 180: 150 (April-June 1971).

Etymology: Composed of the Latin colpus = colpus, furrow, channel, and the Greek γυνη, gynē = woman, female, pertaining to female floral organs; the name refers to the ovary, the outer and inner surface of which is distinctly channelled.

Synonyms: -

Infrafamilial position: Didymocarpoid Gesneriaceae - "African and Madagascan genera” (Weber 2004).

Description: Perennial rosette herbs with short rhizome. Leaves apparently alternate, sessile or with short petiole, lamina oblong-lanceolate, base attenuate, margin crenate-serrate, woolly-hairy on both sides. Cymes with long peduncle, few- to several- flowered, flowers not regularly in pairs, without bracteoles. Sepals nearly free to base, oval-elliptical. Corolla white or with purple margins, short-tubed, campanulate, limb actinomorphic, lobes small, reflexed. Stamens 2; filaments inserted near corolla base, ± of same length as corolla tube; anthers divergent. Nectary annular, somewhat lobed. Ovary short, ovoid, somewhat compressed, with dorsal and ventral invaginations; style short; stigma capitate. Fruit a short, straight (not twisted) capsule. Seeds verrucose.

Chromosome number: Unknown.

Type and only species: Colpogyne betsiliensis (Humbert) B.L.Burtt

Distribution: Central Madagascar.

Ecology: Growing on shaded and moist gneiss and quartzitic rocks and rock crevices in forest.

Notes: The genus is closely allied to Streptocarpus, and has evolved from within a group of Madagascan species of subg. Streptocarpus (O’Sullivan 1999). It is distinguished by the small, short-tubed, cup-shaped, actinomorphic corolla and the short, straight fruits.

Selected references: O’Sullivan, MSc-Thesis, University of Edinburgh (1999), molec. syst.

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


Colpogyne betsiliensis (Humbert) B.L.Burtt

Humbert & Leroy, Fl. Madagascar, fam. 180, p. 148 (1971), fig.1-6


last modified: 2007-07-13