Full name and orig. publication: Corytoplectus Oerst., Centralamer. Gesner. 45 (1858).

Etymology: Derived from κωρυς, kōrys = helmet, or (less probably) κωρυτος, kōrytos (Latin corytus) = leather pouch, quiver, and πλεκτος, plectos = pleated, folded, meaning that the calyx lobes look like helmets or pouches.

Synonyms: -

Infrafamilial position: Gesnerioid Gesneriaceae (Gesnerioideae) - Episcieae.

Description: Terrestrial herbs. Stem suffrutescent or fleshy. Leaves opposite, isophyllous. Axillary cymes erect, several- to many-flowered, umbel-like or congested. Sepals equal, of variable shape. Corolla erect in the calyx, tubular with some ventral inflation, constricted in the throat; limb narrow, with short, (sub)equal lobes. Stamens 4, included. Nectary glands 4, 2 or rarely a single dorsal, bilobed gland. Stigma capitate or bilobed; ovary superior. Fruit a globose, shiny black or translucent berry with black seeds.

Chromosome number: 2n = 18.

Species number: 15.

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

Type species: Corytoplectus capitatus (Hook.f.) Wiehler

Distribution: At higher elevations of the Western Cordillera (Bolivia to Panama and coastal Venezuela), and in the Guayana Highlands. 

Ecology: Terrestrial plants, mainly growing in cloud forests at high elevations.

Notes: The genus, reinstituted by Wiehler (l.c.), is closely allied to Alloplectus, differing in the erect umbellate inflorescence and the berry fruit.

Selected references: Wiehler, Phytologia 27: 309-328 (1973), re-establ., emend

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


Corytoplectus capitatus (Hook.f.) Wiehler,  type species

Bot. Mag. t. 4452 (1849), as Alloplectus capitatus

Corytoplectus speciosus (Poepp.) Wiehler

Cult. RBG Edinburgh, as Alloplectus vittatus, phot. A. Weber (1975)


last modified: 2007-07-13