The Genus Pages, each of which has a link below, provide basic information about the individual genera, as well as thumbnail images for all of the photos of the particular genus. The Genus Pages provide one of the best ways of navigating this site.
In botany, as well as in zoology, species are grouped on the basis of observed or assumed relatedness. Each of these groups of species are referred to as a "genus" -- the plural is properly "genera", although "genuses" is sometimes seen.
There is often significant disagreement about the proper classification for individual species. Some botanists may be of the opinion that a variant of a species should be classified as a completely separate species; in other circumstances, some may believe that species which have been accepted by others as all belonging to one genus should really be assigned to two (or more) separate genera. There are even sometimes disputes over whether a species properly belongs to one family or another.
It is important to recognize that these "conflicts" reflect the many shades of gray that exist in nature. Human attempts at classification of the natural order will necessarily be at least partially subjective, and hence subject to legitimate differences of opinion.
On this site, I have attempted to be internally consistent, and generally in conformity with the classification scheme of the Gesneriad Society. For instance, the genus Columnea was at one time unitary. However, some botanists have proposed that the genus should be split into five separate genera: Columnea, Trichantha, Dalbergaria, Pentadenia and Bucinellina. The groups do seem to have some significant morphological differences, but on balance I agree with the "lumpers", and the single genus Columna is used here. For the average grower, it doesn't matter too much. They plants are the same none-the-less.
As a compromise of sorts, I have listed the photos on this site on a kind of loose genus system. All the plants are listed on "genus pages". In some cases, such as those species of the Columnea alliance, I have elected to conform to one or another of competing taxonomic systems. I have attempted to do this bearing in mind the viewer's (and my own) convenience. Each genus page contains thumbnail views of all of the listed cultivars and species.
I am not certain that I have the correct generic name for each plant, or even the correct species or cultivar name. Where errors are made, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Diastema, Phinaea and Amalophyllon|
|Episcia and Alsobia|
|Gloxinella, Gloxiniopsis and Monopyle|