flower line - 2.2 K

Genus of the Month


flower line - 2.2 K
This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources for a particular genus.
If you like this page, you might also want to visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes , a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family. Also, you can see my contribution to the Conservation New England web site, entitled "The Introduction of Non-Native Plants into Massachusetts".

This month's genus:


Subclass: Dicotyledoneae
Superorder: Asteridae
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Gesneriaceae
Number of Species: 150
Root: Named by Linnaeus after the Italian botanist Fabius Columna (a.k.a. Fabio Colonna) [see ref]

Plants in the genus Columnea are mainly tropical species native to America. As is common for Gesneriads, species in this genus have co-adapted along with specialized pollinators, in this case hummingbirds. Many species are also epiphytic, meaning that their natural habitat is on the surface of other plants (epiphytes do not take nutrients from their "hosts", as parasites do). There are several species of Columnea that are marketed as houseplants, often under the name "Goldfish Plant", a reference to the shape of the flowers.

Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Columnea species:


  1. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.

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