Full name and orig. publication: Mandirola Decne., Rev. Hort. 20, ser. 3, 2: 468 (15 Dec. 1848).

Etymology: Named after Augustin Mandirola, who in 1652 described for the first time propagation of  the orange tree by leaf cuttings. 

Synonyms: Achimenes subg. Mandirola (Decne.) Hanst. (1865), Achimenes sect. Mandirola (Decne.) Benth. (1876). 

Infrafamilial position: Gesnerioid Gesneriaceae (Gesnerioideae)  - Gloxinieae.

Description: Terrestrial perennial herbs with scaly rhizomes. Stem erect. Leaves opposite or ternate, isophyllous, petiolate, lamina with 5-6 pairs of veins. Flowers in axillary, bracteolate pair-flowered cymes, often with a short peduncle, or solitary, showy. Sepals free. Corolla pink, lavender or purple, hypocrateriform, with an oblique limb, lobes of limb subequal, usually distinctly toothed or fimbriate. Stamens 4; anthers coherent. Nectary annular.  Ovary inferior; stigma distinctly bilobes. Fruit a dry rostrate capsule. Seeds numerous, minute, rhombic to ellipsoid. 

Chromosome number: 2n = 26.

Species number: 3.

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

Type species: Mandirola multiflora (Gardn.) Decne.

Distribution: Brazil.

Ecology: No details known.

Notes: Based on molecular evidence, Mandirola was recently re-established to include three species from Brazil formerly placed in Gloxinia: G. ichthyostoma, G. multiflora, and G. rupestris (Roalson et al. 2005a,b, Boggan 2006). The species are very similar to Achimenes, and were once included in that genus. The genus is more closely related to Goyazia than to Gloxinia or Achimenes. From the three species, only the first is in cultivation. 

Selected references: Roalson, Boggan, Skog, Zimmer, Taxon 54(2): 389-410 (2005a), molec. syst.; Roalson, Boggan, Skog, Selbyana 25(2): 225-238 (2005b), tax.; Boggan, Gesneriads 56 (3): 26-32 (2006), surv.

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


Mandirola ichthyostoma (Gardn.) Seem. ex. Hanst.

Gloxinian 56 (3): 29 (2006), phot. M. Peixoto


last modified: 2007-01-05