. . . to the wonderful world of gesneriads!

Gesneriads are many things — very beautiful, profoundly interesting and widely distributed. Best of all, many of them are very happy to be beautiful and interesting in your home, where they not only live, but thrive.

The Gesneriad Reference Web is your best resource for learning about this fascinating plant family and for appreciating the beauty of its members. We’ve taken pains to:

  • Illustrate their beauty through thousands of carefully curated photographs
  • Ensure that we provide useful information for all of botanical experts, beginners, and everyone in between
  • Chronicle more than 200 years of beautiful imagery through our Antique Prints collection, and
  • Link users to all the information they need to grow and appreciate these wonderful plants

We’ve tried to make navigation of the site intuitive, with all content readily accessible.  Check out “Genera” to enter our world of Gesneriad pictures, organized by genus, and “Articles”, to see an ever-growing list of informative pieces on particularly interesting aspects of the family. Both are available from the menu above, as are pages on Antique Prints and Resources.

Be prepared to meet some familiar plant faces, as well as some you may never have seen or even heard about. Among the Gesneriads are the African violets (which are now classified as the Saintpaulia section within the Streptocarpus genus from Africa), Florist Gloxinias (a particular kind of Sinningia from South America), the Lipstick Plant (some varieties of Aeschynanthus from parts of southern Asia), and even some plants well known to folks with rock gardens in northern climates (e.g. Ramonda from the mountains of Europe). Less familiar may be plants with spectacularly beautiful foliage (e.g. Episcia from Central America), or wonderfully intricate flowers (e.g. Ornithoboea from Asia), or peculiar and dramatic growth forms, like some African Streptocarpus, with but a single leaf up to a meter long and almost as wide. In some groups of plants we have spectacular size differences — the Florist Gloxinia, Sinningia speciosa, has individual flowers twice the width of the largest possible plant of its close relative, Sinningia pusilla.

We love to have you here and hope you’ll stay awhile and ramble through the site. Leave us some feedback, and help us reach and exceed our objective — the best and most beautiful resource on this wonderful plant family!