Authors: Wiehler, Hans
Publication: Selbana
Year: 1975
Genera: Columnea, Trichantha

The Genus Trichantha Hooker of the neotropical Gesneriaceae has been re-instated and redefined in this first issue of Selbyana (p. 33; cf. Wiehler, 1973, sub Ortholoma). Elements of this group of over 70 species came from Columnea Linnaeus and Alloplectus Martius, but many species of Trichantha are still new to science and await description. The three new species treated here form a unit because they are closely related one to another and to Trichantha illepida (H. E. Moore) Morton from Panama. All four species grow in the same type of habitat as epiphytes, have the same general plant habit, the same degree of leaf anisophylly, the same corolla shape, the same type of maroon-purple design on the lemon yellow corolla, and the same odd appendages by the sinuses of the corolla lobes. Yet the corolla of each species shows also some specific difference; in one species the flowers are significantly smaller but more numerous than in the others. The calyx is rather distinct in each of the novelties, and one of them possesses a unique leaf texture. All three new species have horticultural value as hanging basket plants.