Full name and orig. publication: Petrocosmea Oliv., Hook. Icon. pl. 18: t. 1716 (Nov. 1887).

Etymology: From the Greek πετρος, petros = rock, stone, and κοσμος, κοσμεα, kosmos, kosmea = beauty, adornment, decoration, embellishment; "the adornment of the rocks”.

Synonym: Vaniotia H.Lév. (1903).

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

Description: Perennial acaulescent herbs. Leaves few to many, in a basal rosette; petiolate; lamina ovate to orbicular, apex acute, obtuse or rounded, base cuneate to cordate, rarely peltate. Cymes axillary, few- to several-flowered, lax, rarely subumbellate; bracteoles present. Sepals free, equal or fused to a 3-partite calyx. Corolla short-tubed, flat-faced, blue, purple or white; tube broad, shorter than limb, limb bilabiate, upper lip 2-lobed, equal or shorter than lower 3-lobed lip, lobes rounded. Stamens 2, inserted near corolla base; filaments short, anthers basifixed, coherent at apices, thecae parallel, apically confluent or not, dehiscence longicidal; staminodes 0-3. Nectary lacking. Ovary ovoid or conical, with parietal placentae; stigma capitate or globose. Capsule straight, ovoid or oblong, dehiscing loculicidally.

Chromosome number: 2n = 32, 34.

Species number: Ca. 27.

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

Type species: Petrocosmea sinensis Oliv.

Distribution: NE India, S China (24 spp.; Yunnan, Sichuan, Hubei, Shaanxi, Guizhou, Guangxi), Myanmar, Thailand, S Vietnam.

Ecology: Damp rocks and shaded cliffs in forest and above the forest line, 500- 3100m.

Notes: Wang (1985) subdivided the genus into the following sections:

(1) sect. Petrocosmea (considered the most primitive section);
(2) sect. Anisochilus Hemsl.,
(3) sect. Deinanthera W.T.Wang.

The two latter sections are further subdivided into subsections and series.

Selected references: Craib, Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 11: 269-275 (1919), rev.; Wang, Acta Bot. Yunnan. 7: 49-68 (1985), rev. (China); Wang et al. in Wu & Raven (eds.), Fl. China 18: 302-308 (1998) (Chinese spp.); Burtt, Thai Forest Bull. (Botany) 29: 81-109 (2001), annot. checklist, new spp. (Thailand); Lu et al., Acta Bot. Yunnan. 24(3): 377-382 (2002), karyol..

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


Petrocosmea sinensis Oliv., type species

Hook. f., Icon. pl., t. 1716 (1887), orig. illustration


Petrocosmea duclouxii Craib

R. Myhr, The Gesneriad Reference Web
phot. Ray Drew


Petrocosmea forrestii Craib

R. Myhr, The Gesneriad Reference Web
Left: phot. Ron Long
Right: phot. Ron Long


Petrocosmea minor Hemsl.

R. Myhr, The Gesneriad Reference Web
phot. Ray Drew


Petrocosmea parryorum C.E.C.Fritsch

R. Myhr, The Gesneriad Reference Web
phot. Ray Drew


last modified: 2007-01-08