Full name and orig. publication: Lysionotus D.Don, Edinburgh Phil. J. 7: 85 (July 1822).

Etymology: From the Greek λύσις, lysis = separation, dissolution; and νώτος, nōtos = behind, the back, meaning that the locules of the capsule burst at the back. 

Synonyms: Lisionotus Reichb. (1837), Lysionotis G.Don (1837), Lysionothus D.Dietr. (1839), Lysinotus Low (1848), Lyrionotus K.Schum. (1901).

Infrafamilial position: Didymocarpoid Gesneriaceae - "Advanced Asiatic and Malesian genera" (Weber 2004).

Description: Epiphytic herbs or subshrubs. Stem branched, branches woody, glabrous. Leaves opposite or in whorls of three, isophyllous or unequal in size, herbaceous or coriaceous, petiole short, lamina lanceolate or elliptical-acuminate, margin crenate-serrate. Cymes pedunculate, few- to many-flowered, bracteoles inconspicuous. Sepals nearly free to base, lanceolate. Corolla tubular-funnel-shaped, tube straight, inflated in upper half, limb slightly bilabiate, mouth eventually with two folds on lower side, lobes subpatent, rounded; colour white or purplish, sometimes with yellow spots at mouth. Stamens 2, included, filaments flattened and curved; anthers cohering face to face, connective sometimes with an appendage, thecae subparallel. Nectary annular. Ovary (sub)stipitate, cylindrical, placentae lamelliform, revolute, style slender, stigma glabrous, slightly bilamellate. Fruit an elongate, cylindrical capsule, splitting loculicidally (eventually later also septicidally) into 2 (-4) valves. Seeds with a hair like appendage at the apical end and a capillary funicle at the hilar end.

Chromosome number: 2n = 32.

Species number: 29.

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

Type species: Lysionotus serratus D.Don

Distribution: Ranging from N India and Nepal eastwards through N Thailand, N Vietnam and S China (23 spp.) to S Japan.

Ecology: Growing epiphytically on trees in forest or on damp mossy rocks; 300 - 3100m.

Selected references: Rosser & Burtt, Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 29: 39-58 (1969), anat.; Wang, Guihaia 3: 249-284 (1983), reg. rev. (China, in Chinese); Hilliard & Burtt, Edinburgh J. Bot. 52: 215-224, transfers, notes; Wang et al. in Wu & Raven (eds.), Fl. China 18: 385-393 (1998) (Chinese spp.); .Z.Wang & Gu, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 37: 137-142 (1999), karyol.; Hilliard, in Grierson & Long, Fl. Bhutan 2(3): 1304-1305 (2001), reg. rev.

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


Lysionotus serratus D.Don, type species

Bot. Mag. t. 6538 (1881)

Lysionotus heterophyllus Franch.

Cult. RBG Edinburgh, phot. A. Weber (2002)

Lysionotus heterophyllus Franch.

Cult. RBG Edinburgh, phot. A. Weber (2002)

Lysionotus pauciflorus Maxim.

Cult. RBG Edinburgh, phot. A. Weber (2002)


last modified: 2007-07-13