Full name and orig. publication: Solenophora Benth., Pl. Hartw. 68 (March 1840).

Etymology: From the Greek σωλην, solēn = tube, and φερειν, ferein = bear, carry. The name alludes either the persistent tubular calyx or to the corolla (both are described as tubular in the original description).

Synonyms: Arctocalyx Fenzl (1848), Hippodamia Decne. (1848).

Infrafamilial position: Gesnerioid Gesneriaceae (Gesnerioideae) - Gloxinieae.

Description: Terrestrial, suffrutescent herbs, shrubs or weak trees. Stem usually elongate, erect, woody, terete to subquadrangular, pith usually prominent, brown to grey at maturity; branches few to many. Leaves opposite, petiolate, ± isophyllous, often large, membranous, ovate to elliptic, dentate or serrate, lateral veins 7-10, arching toward the apex. Inflorescences numerous, 1- to few-flowered, in the leaf axils, usually pedunculate, bibracteolate. Sepals connate at base, exceeding the ovary. Corolla large and showy, tube elongate, not spurred, yellow to orange or reddish orange, throat ampliate, limb with broad rounded lobes, often spotted. Stamens 4, adnate to base of corolla tube, included or rarely exserted; filaments elongate, curved, broad at the base; anthers coherent, dehiscing by longitudinal slits; staminode small. Nectary of a single, bilobed gland or of 2, 3, or 5 glands. Ovary inferior, apex flattened or convex; style equalling the stamens, elongated, flattened, broader toward the apex; stigma stomatomorphic. Fruit a dry (?) or somewhat fleshy capsule crowned by the persistent calyx. Seeds fusiform.

Chromosome number: 2n = 20.

Species number: 16.

Type species: Solenophora coccinea Benth.

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

Distribution: Central America

Ecology: Occurring in damp forests at mid- and high elevations.

Notes: Recently revised by Weigend & Förther (2002).

Selected references: Skog, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 65: 987-990 (1979), reg. rev. (Panama); Ramírez Roa & Ibarra Manriquez, Novon 7: 281-284 (1997), sp. nov.; Weigend & Förther, Harvard Papers Bot. 7(1): 37-78 (2002), rev.

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


Solenophora calycosa J.D.Smith

Skog, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 65: fig. 34 (1979)

Solenophora calycosa J.D.Smith

Costa Rica, Madre Selva, phot. A. Weissenhofer (2001).

Solenophora calycosa J.D.Smith

Left: Costa Rica, Valle Virgen, phot. A. Weissenhofer (2001)
Right: Costa Rica, Madre Selva, phot. A. Weissenhofer (2001).


last modified: 2007-07-13