Full name and orig. publication: Rufodorsia Wiehler, Selbyana 1: 139 (29 Aug. 1975).

Etymology: From the Latin rufus = red, reddish, and dorsum = back, alluding to the reddish back of the corolla.

Synonyms: -

Infrafamilial position: Gesnerioid Gesneriaceae (Gesnerioideae) - Episcieae.

Description: Epiphytic herbs or subshrubs. Stem erect, ascending or decumbent, with few branches. Leaves opposite, membranous, succulent or subcoriaceous, petiolate. Cymes axillary, few- to several-flowered, congested. Corolla usually white, lobes and tube reddish on upper side, short, infundibuliform, limb somewhat bilabiate. Stamens 4, included, filaments adnate to base of corolla tube; anthers apically coherent in 2 pairs. Nectary a bilobed dorsal gland. Ovary superior, stigma bilabiate-stomatomorphic. Fruit a white berry. Seeds with a fleshy funicle, striate.

Chromosome number: 2n = 18.

Species number: 4.

Type species: Rufodorsia major Wiehler

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

Distribution: Panama and Costa Rica.

Ecology: Epiphytes in forest habitats.

Notes: The corolla matches in size, shape and coloration that of Gloxinia erinoides (tribe Gloxinieae), suggesting a similar pollinator.

Selected references: Wiehler, Selbyana 6: 195 (1983). Skog, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 65: 979-983 (1979), reg. rev. (Panama); Skog, Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 85: 1114-1128 (2001), reg. rev. (Nicaragua).

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


Rufodorsia major Wiehler

Left: cult. Marie Selby BG, phot. A. Weber (1982)
Right: Panama, phot. L.E. Skog.


last modified: 2007-07-13