Full name and orig. publication: Haberlea Friv., Magyar. Tud. Tars. Ekvon. 2: 249, t. 1 (7 June 1835), non Haberlea Pohl ex Baker (1876).

Etymology: Named for the Austro-Hungarian botanist Karl Konstantin Christian Haberle (1764-1832), who discovered the plant in the Rhodope mountains (Bulgaria).

Synonyms: -

Infrafamilial position: Didymocarpoid Gesneriaceae - "European genera” (Weber 2004).

Description: Perennial rosette plants. Leaves alternate, forming a basal tuft, petiole short, lamina spathulate, coarsely dentate-serrate, rough-hairy. Cymes axillary, long pedunculate, flowers 2-10, bracteoles small, narrow. Sepals lanceolate, unequally connate and forming a somewhat zygomorphic calyx. Corolla blue (rarely white), with yellow spots in the mouth; tube widening above, limb bilabiate, lobes ovate-elliptical, rounded. Stamens 4, didynamous, included, filaments inserted at corolla base, anthers cohering in pairs, thecae divaricate, apically confluent. Nectary annular. Ovary ovoid-conical, style slender, stigma inconspicuous. Fruit a dry, bivalved capsule, septicidally dehiscent.

Chromosome number: 2n = 38, 44, 48 (all numbers refer to H. rhodopensis).

Species number: 2 [H. rhodopensis Friv., H. ferdinandi-coburgii Urum., the latter very close to and eventually conspecific with the first].

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

Type species: Haberlea rhodopensis Friv.

Distribution: Balkan peninsula (Bulgaria: Rhodope and Balkan mountains).

Ecology: Growing on shady, humid rocks, 300-1300m.

Notes: Like Ramonda and Jancaea evidently a relict of the tertiary flora of Europe.

Selected references: Rix & Webb in Tutin et al. (eds.), Fl. Europaea 3: 284-285 (1972).

Bibliography: See Skog, L.E. & J.K. Boggan. 2005. Bibliography of the Gesneriaceae. 2nd edition: http://persoon.si.edu/Gesneriaceae/Bibliography.


Haberlea rhodopensis Friv., type species

Left: Bot. Mag. t. 6651 (1882)
Right: Bulgaria, phot. W. Barthlott


last modified: 2007-01-05