This unusual species is a member of Section Pentadenia, and shares the pouched flower with some other species in that section, such as C . trollii. The pouched flower is rare in Columnea, and appears very much like some of those in the genus Nematanthus or the species Pachycaulos nummularia. Many species now in Nematanthus were once in the old genus Hypocyrta, and the name C. hypocyrtantha reflects this similarity of form. It seems that the pouched flower form has evolved separately in multiple groups.