Full name and orig. publication: Pheidonocarpa L.E.Skog, Smiths. Contr. Bot. 29: 40 (3 May 1976).

Etymology: From the Greek φειδον, pheidon = oilcan, and καρπος, karpos = fruit, alluding to the shape of the fruit.

Synonyms: -

Infrafamilial position: Gesnerioid Gesneriaceae (Gesnerioideae) - Gesnerieae.

Description: Plants terrestrial, perennial, suffruticose, fibrous-rooted. Stems woody, erect or decumbent. Leaves opposite; petioles short, the bases joined across the stem; lamina rigid, scabrous. Inflorescences axillary, many-flowered compound dichasia; peduncles much exceeding the subtending leaves. Sepals shortly connate at base. Corolla zygomorphic, pilose; tube ventricose, limb bilabiate. Stamens 4, filaments adnate to base of corolla tube; anthers coherent or free, exserted at anthesis. Ovary semi-inferior. Nectary annular, 5-lobed. Fruit a dry, pilose capsule, splitting into two valves from the curved rostrate apex. 

Chromosome number: 2n = 28.

Type and only species:  Pheidonocarpa corymbosa (Swartz) L.E.Skog, with two subspecies in Cuba and Jamaica, respectively.

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

Distribution: Caribbaean region (Cuba, Jamaica).

Ecology: Like Gesneria.

Notes: Pollination is probably by hummingbirds. The genus differs from Gesneria and Rhytidophyllum in the decussate leaves, the semi-inferior ovary and in the rostrate fruit, with the curved rostrum equalling or exceeding the length of the floral tube. It seems to form a linke between the tribes Gloxinieae and Gesnerieae.

Selected references: Skog, Smiths. Contr. Bot. 29: 1-182 (1976), rev.

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


Pheidonocarpa corymbosa (Swartz) L.E.Skog

Cult. Cornell University, origin probably Jamaica, phot. Margaret H. Stone


last modified: 2007-01-05