Episcia

Description

Terrestrial or epiphytic, caulescent, decumbent, creeping, or sprawling low herbs, rarely subshrubs, stoloniferous. Stems often branched. Leaves opposite, often crowded, usually nearly equal in a pair, venation pinnate, foliar nectaries absent. Flowers axillary, 1-6 in cymose inflorescences; pedunculate or epedunculate; bracteoles present; pedicellate. Calyx lobes free or briefly connate at base, 4 lobes erect, the 5th dorsal, curved around corolla spur; corolla white, yellow, blue, purple to red, tubular, salver-shaped to campanulate; stamens included, filaments basally connate, anthers coherent in pairs in a square or arc, becoming free, dehiscing by longitudinal slits, thecae parallel or divergent; staminode minute; disc a single large dorsal gland; ovary superior, stigma stomatomorphic, 2-lobed, or capitate. Fruit a fleshy, green or brown to reddish brown capsule, loculicidally dehiscent, 2-valved, valves opening widely.

Distribution

C America: present Guianas: present northern S America: present
A genus of 10-15 species in C America and northern S America; 3 species in the Guianas.

Cytology

Chromosome number n=9 (Skog 1984).

Notes

Included in the key are 2 species (E. cupreata (Hook.) Hanst. and E. lilacina Hanst.) which are cultivated and possibly escaping.

Synonymy

Episcia Mart. in Nov. Gen. Sp. Pl. 3: 39. 1829 sec. C. Feuillet & M.J. Jansen-Jacobs, 2008

Keys