Authors: Kvist, Lars Peter; Skog, Laurence E.
Publication: Smithsonian Contributions to Botany
Year: 1996
Genera: Kohleria, Parakohleria, Pearcea

Seventeen species of Pearcea (Gesneriaceae) are recognized, nine of which are new: Pearcea bella, P. bilabiata, P. cordata, P. fuscicalyx, P. glabrata, P. gracilis, P. grandifolia, P. intermedia, and P. strigosa. Of the remaining eight species, two were originally described in Pearcea, one is transferred herein from Kohleria, and five come from Parakohleria, a genus placed in synonymy herein. Pearcea occurs mainly on the eastern Andean slopes of Colombia (5 species), Ecuador (12 species), Peru (6 species), and Bolivia (1 species), and one species also occurs on the western Andean slopes in Ecuador. The largest number of species appears to occur in Ecuador, although additional species may occur in less explored parts of Peru. Pearcea differs from related and similar genera in the Gloxinieae by having fleshy capsules dehiscing by two valves and exposing a sticky seed mass. All species are herbs, usually with bright red flowers, and are usually found in the shady, humid forest understory, often near small streams. Hybridization, local speciation, and polymorphic variation may complicate the species delimitation. The variable Pearcea sprucei occurs throughout nearly the entire range of the genus (and includes the only accepted variety, var. parviflora), but most species are rare and local.