Full name and orig. publication: Lembocarpus Leeuwenb., Meded. Bot. Mus. Herb. Rijks Univ. Utrecht 146: 318 (30 June 1958), reimp. Acta Bot. Neerl. 7: 318 (Oct. 1958).

Etymology: From the Greek λέμβος, lembos = boat, and κασπος, karpos = fruit, in allusion to the boat-shaped fruit.

Synonyms: -

Infrafamilial position: Gesnerioid Gesneriaceae (Gesnerioideae) - Episcieae (?), see Notes.

Description: Terrestrial, perennial herb with a small, annual, hairy subterranean tuber, from which (per season) a single leaf emerges. Inflorescence separate, cymosely branched or reduced to a single flower. Sepals free. Corolla broadly tubular to campanulate, limb slightly oblique, with subequal spreading lobes; pale blue or white with lilac or purple limb. Stamina 4, didynamous; anthers cohering in pairs. Nectary completely reduced (J.K. Boggan, pers. comm.; originally described as a thin, non-functional ring). Ovary superior; stigma bilobed. Fruit a bivalved capsule, loculicidally dehiscent, opening to 180.

Chromosome number: Unknown.

Type and only species: Lembocarpus amoenus Leeuwenb.

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

Distribution: Surinam and French Guiana.

Ecology: Occurring in montane rain forests, growing on granitic outcrops (J.F.Smith, pers. comm.).

Notes: Lembocarpus was placed by Wiehler (1983) near Sinningia in tribe Gloxinieae, based on the possession of a tuber and the (wrong) assumption that intergeneric hybrids can be produced. Boggan (1991) pleaded for an inclusion into Episcieae, showing that the tuber is different by the annual habit and hairy epidermis. Such a placement is also favoured by Feuillet & Skog (2003). The ndhF data of Smith (2001) confirm that the genus is not related to Sinningia (now tribe Sinningieae), but should be returned to Gloxinieae. Recent (unpubl.) data of E. Roalson and J.F. Smith (pers. comm) are again in favor of a position in Episcieae.

Selected references: Wiehler, Selbyana 6: 173 (1983); Boggan, M.Sci.Thesis Cornell Univ. (1991), Boggan, Gloxinian 40: 20-22 (1990); Smith, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 88: 135-143 (2001), molec. syst.; Feuillet & Skog, Brittonia 54: 352-361 (2003, "2002"). 

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


Lembocarpus amoenus Leeuwenb.

Left: Acta Bot. Neerl. 7, Fig. 28 (1958)
Right: cult. & phot. J.K. Boggan (1990), origin probably Surinam

Lembocarpus amoenus Leeuwenb.

Cult. & phot. J.K. Boggan (1990), origin probably Surinam


last modified: 2007-01-05