Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - a Gesneriad

Almost didn't get to a fabulous flower today what with so many things to get ready for next week.  With the days getting longer, the glasshouse collection is looking a bit livelier, and at least one new species will bloom soon, one obtained as a small plantlet.  This particular tropical plant gets over looked because it grows in a shadier, even dim, part of the greenhouse, and it's flowers are not particularly gaudy or bright and showy, and that is a bit strange.  But then again, the pollinator of this species is not altogether obvious, and although hummingbirds have been known to visit the flowers, it just isn't exactly their type of flower except for the orientation.  This isn't the first time TPP has featured a gesneriad, a member of the Gesneriaceae, the African violet family to many people because that's the house plant most people know.  This is Drymonia stenophylla from Costa Rica, and the flowers, just after a rain provided by the mist system, are rather subtle with the pale yellow and pinks.  The corollas are quite waxy, almost artificial in appearance, but otherwise similar to the better know Episcias.


Sebastian Marquez said...

I don't know... compared to the Hawaiian types... that's pretty gaudy to me!

Have the gesneriads radiated much in the neotropics?

Beth at PlantPostings said...

Fascinating plant! I wouldn't have guessed that it's related to our more common African Violets. Thanks for the info.