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Terrestrial or epiphytic, caulescent, creeping or climbing, sometimes erect herbs, shrubs, or lianas, without modified stems. Stems branched or unbranched. Leaves opposite, equal or nearly equal in a pair, venation pinnate, foliar nectaries absent. Flowers axillary, solitary, or in fasciculate several-flowered inflorescences; pedunculate or epedunculate; bracteoles often caducous, sometimes absent; pedicellate. Calyx lobes 5, free or briefly connate at base; corolla white, yellow, purple to red, often with markings, usually funnelform and broader towards mouth, limb 5-lobed; stamens included, filaments basally connate, anthers at first coherent by sides and faces, later separating, dehiscing by short basal slits, thecae divergent at base; staminode small to minute; disc a single dorsal gland; ovary superior, stigma stomatomorphic or 2-lobed. Fruit a fleshy capsule, becoming coriaceous, interior red, orange, or purple, loculicidally dehiscent, 2 valves recurving and spreading widely.


Guianas present, Lesser Antilles present, Southern America: Colombia (Colombia present); Ecuador (Ecuador present), continental Neotropics present
More than 200 species throughout the continental Neotropics and the Lesser Antilles, from a probable center of distribution in Colombia and Ecuador; 4 species in the Guianas.


Chromosome number n=9 (Skog 1984).