The Columnea alliance is made up of epiphytic, mainly trailing, plants from Central and South America. It is a large group, with many popular ornamentals.

Many botanists, including Dr. Laurence Skog of the Smithsonian Institution, believe that all of the group should be considered as belonging to the single genus Columnea.  Others, including the late Dr. Hans Wiehler of the Gesneriad Research Foundation, assign species to one of five genera --  Columnea, Trichantha, Dalbergaria, Pentadenia and Bucinellina.

The GRW originally followed the Wiehler system.  As of February 15, 1999, we  have converted to the Skog system, with all species and hybrids assigned to the single genus Columnea.  We believe that it is less confusing to most viewers, and certainly easier to administer.  

As with most epiphytes, the Columnea group should be planted in a fairly open and well-drained medium. They will tolerate some drought, but best growth and flowering will occur when they are kept evenly moist with moderate regular fertilizer. If grown in a window under room conditions, they will tolerate cool temperatures better than dry heat during the winter. Under cool conditions, it is much better to underwater than to overwater. Some species and related hybrids require cool night temperatures to bloom, although most of the cultivars in the trade prefer a relatively warm environment for best growth and bloom.

It is my experience that many cultivars respond to in-home basket culture with good natural light (an eastern exposure works well) very favorably. Bloom may taper off during the fall and winter, but warmer temperatures and longer days will induce a profusion of bloom in the spring and summer.



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Columnea Species

Columnea (Trichantha)  ambigua

Columnea ambigua (Geneva Botanical Garden)
787s.jpg (2288 bytes)
Columnea angustata (Pentadenia)
1014s.jpg (2167 bytes)
Columnea angustata flower closeup (Pentadenia)

Columnea angustata

Columnea angustata limb and pollen

Columnea angustifolia
1019s.jpg (2013 bytes)
Columnea anisophylla berries (Trichantha)
1010s.jpg (4011 bytes)
Columnea anisophylla (Trichantha)

Columnea argentea plant

Columnea argentea
797s.jpg (3003 bytes)
Columnea arguta berries

Columnea arguta
flower closeup
1011s.jpg (3535 bytes)
Columnea arguta

Columnea arguta flower (Smithsonian)

Columnea species (arguta?)

Columnea arguta plant (Smithsonian)

Columnea atahualpae

Columnea aurantia
1018s.jpg (1982 bytes)
Columnea aureonitens (Dalbergaria)
1015s.jpg (3041 bytes)
Columnea billbergiana plant
1024s.jpg (2801 bytes)
Columnea billbergiana flowers
1022s.jpg (2471 bytes)
Columnea brenneri (Trichantha)
1023s.jpg (3485 bytes)
Columnea brenneri flower closeup (Trichantha)


Columnea byrsina (Pentadenia)

Columnea byrsina

Columnea (Pentadenia) byrsina (Smithsonian)

Columnea (Pentadenia) byrsina 2 (Smithsonian)

Columnea calotricha
1021s.jpg (3023 bytes)
Columnea calotricha flower clusters
1020s.jpg (3621 bytes)
Columnea calotricha leaf and stem
0930s.jpg (3287 bytes)
Columnea  chrysotricha
0931s.jpg (2571 bytes)
Columnea chrysotricha
0929s.jpg (2982 bytes)
Columnea ciliata

Columnea ciliata (Stewart)
0928s.jpg (3323 bytes)
aff. ciliata

Columnea citriflora (Smithsonian)
0985s.jpg (3759 bytes)
Columnea citriflora 

Columnea colombiana

Columnea colombina flower
0934s.jpg (2774 bytes)
Columnea (Dalbergaria) consanguinea
0935s.jpg (2158 bytes)
Columnea (Dalbergaria) consanguinea leaf

Columnea crassifolia
0932s.jpg (2916 bytes)
Columnea (Dalbergaria) cruenta
0946s.jpg (3630 bytes)
Columnea (Dalbergaria) cruenta leaf fan

Columnea cruenta (Stewart)

Columnea dielsii display fruit close-up

Columnea dielsii display fruit

Columnea dielsii flower
0940s.jpg (2198 bytes)
Columnea (Trichantha) dissimilis flower
0939s.jpg (3040 bytes)
Columnea (Trichantha) dissimilis
0938s.jpg (2494 bytes)
Columnea dressleri

Columnea dodsonii
0936s.jpg (3250 bytes)
Columnea (Dalbergaria)  eburnea leaf
0937s.jpg (2723 bytes)
Columnea (Dalbergaria) eburnea flower
0942s.jpg (2369 bytes)
Columnea elongatifolia  (Trichantha angustifolia)

Columnea elongatifolia (Trichantha angustifolia) Smithsonian
0944s.jpg (3599 bytes)
Columnea (Dalbergaria) ericae
0945s.jpg (2722 bytes)
Columnea (Dalbergaria) species aff ericae?

Columnea erythrophaea basket

Columnea erythrophaea (Breedlove)
0943s.jpg (3241 bytes)
Columnea erythrophaea
1106s.jpg (2900 bytes)
Columnea erythrophaea plant
0951s.jpg (2264 bytes)
Columnea  fasciculata (?)

Columnea fendleri
0949s.jpg (2863 bytes)
Columnea filifera
0950s.jpg (2511 bytes)
Columnea filifera flowers
0948s.jpg (2294 bytes)
Columnea  fimbricalyx
0947s.jpg (3779 bytes)
Columnea flaccida

Columnea flexiflora

Columnea flexiflora berry
0955s.jpg (3103 bytes)
Columnea florida leaves (Dalbergaria)
0956s.jpg (2389 bytes)
Columnea florida flowers (Dalbergaria)
0954s.jpg (2142 bytes)
Columnea fuscihirta
flower (Dalbergaria)
0953s.jpg (2728 bytes)
Columnea fuscihirta (Dalbergaria)
0952s.jpg (1987 bytes)
Columnea gallicauda

Columnea gigantea (Dalbergaria)
0961s.jpg (3127 bytes)
Columnea glabra

Columnea glicensteinii (Stewart)
0960s.jpg (3075 bytes)
Columnea gloriosa
764s.jpg (3215 bytes)
Columnea gloriosa 'Superba'
0959s.jpg (3933 bytes)
Columnea grisebachiana (Trichantha cristata)
0958s.jpg (2182 bytes)
Columnea harrisii

Columnea harrisii (Smithsonian)

Columnea hiantiflora
0964s.jpg (2475 bytes)
Columnea hispida

Columnea hirsutissima 'Redcoat'
0966s.jpg (2871 bytes)
Columnea hirsutissima berry
0957s.jpg (3383 bytes)
Columnea hirsutissima

Columnea hirta

Columnea hirta var. pilosissima
0965s.jpg (3497 bytes)
Columnea hirta var. mortonii

Columnea hirta basket

Columnea hirta 'Light Prince'

Columnea hirta 'Light Prince'

Columnea hirta 'Light Prince'

Columnea inaequilatera
0971s.jpg (3341 bytes)
Columnea incredibilis calyx (Dalbergaria)
0962s.jpg (2509 bytes)
Columnea incredibilis (Dalbergaria)

Columnea isernii (Smithsonian)
0968s.jpg (2868 bytes)
Columnea katzensteiniae (Pentadenia)

Columnea kienastiana (Smithsonian)
0970s.jpg (3084 bytes)
Columnea kienastiana
786s.jpg (3128 bytes)
Columnea  lehmannii (Trichantha)

Columnea lepidocaula
0967s.jpg (2513 bytes)
Columnea linearis

Columnea linearis 2
674s.jpg (3767 bytes)
Columnea linearis 'Purple Robe'

Columnea sp. aff. lophophora

Columnea sp. aff. lophophora flower
0976s.jpg (2820 bytes)
Columnea maculata
0975s.jpg (2537 bytes)
Columnea maculata berry
0927s.jpg (3363 bytes)
Columnea mastersonii (Dalbergaria)
0974s.jpg (1647 bytes)
Columnea matudae (Pentadenia)
0981s.jpg (3405 bytes)
Columnea medicinalis  2 (Dalbergaria)
0972s.jpg (2811 bytes)
Columnea medicinalis
flowers (Dalbergaria)
0973s.jpg (3363 bytes)
Columnea medicinalis (Dalbergaria)
0979s.jpg (2662 bytes)
Columnea microcalyx flowers
0980s.jpg (4096 bytes)
Columnea microcalyx in nature
0978s.jpg (4401 bytes)
Columnea microphylla
0977s.jpg (3200 bytes)
Columnea microsepala (Pentadenia)

Columnea minor 1

Columnea minor 2

0986s.jpg (3039 bytes)
Columnea minor 3 (Trichantha)

Columnea minor 4

Columnea (Trichantha) minor (Smithsonian)

Columnea minor (hairs and bright calyx)

Columnea minor (window plant)
  780s.jpg (3809 bytes)
Columnea moorei (Trichantha)
0983s.jpg (3553 bytes)
Columnea moorei
flowers (Trichantha)
0982s.jpg (3416 bytes)
Columnea moorei (Trichantha)
0984s.jpg (2570 bytes)
Columnea nariniana

Columnea nicaraguensis

Columnea oblongifolia

Columnea (Pentadenia) orientandina leaves/stem (Smithsonian)

Columnea orientandina limb and pollen

Columnea orientandina (AGGS 2004)

Columnea orientandina flowers, leaves and stems

Columnea (Pentadenia) orientandina (Smithsonian)

Columnea (Pentadenia) orientandina AGGS02

Columnea (Pentadenia) orientandina berries AGGS02

Columnea orientandina (Pentadenia)
763s.jpg (3091 bytes)
Columnea ornata red leaf form (Dalbergaria)
0991s.jpg (2009 bytes)
Columnea ornata side view (Dalbergaria)
789s.jpg (2329 bytes)
Columnea ornata green leaf form (Dalbergaria)

Columnea oxyphylla basket

Columnea oxyphylla (Costa Rica)

Columnea oxyphylla
0989s.jpg (3737 bytes)
Columnea pectinata (Dalbergaria)

Columnea percrassa

Columnea parviflora
696s.jpg (3432 bytes)
Columnea platycalyx (Trichantha)
0987s.jpg (2913 bytes)
Columnea polyantha (Dalbergaria)
0988s.jpg (4174 bytes)
Columnea polyantha leaves (Dalbergaria)

Columnea polyantha with hummingbird
0996s.jpg (2252 bytes)
Columnea pulchra  (Trichantha)

Columnea pulchra (Trichantha) Smithsonian

Columnea pulchra (Trichantha) stems and flowers (Smithsonian)
0995s.jpg (2018 bytes)
Columnea pulchra flower (Trichantha)

Columnea pulchra 'Orange Sherbet' (Trichantha)

Columnea purpurata

Columnea purpureovittata (foliage) (Trichantha)
0994s.jpg (2592 bytes)
Columnea purpureovittata
(berry) (Trichantha)

Columnea purpureovittata (flower) (Trichantha)

Columnea purpusii

Columnea querceti

Columnea raymondii (Smithsonian)
1007s.jpg (2084 bytes)
Columnea raymondii intermediate flower
817s.jpg (2037 bytes)
Columnea raymondii
0933s.jpg (1847 bytes)
Columnea raymondii dark flower

Columnea repens

Columnea repens
0969s.jpg (2966 bytes)
Columnea rileyi (Pentadenia)

Columnea (Pentadenia) rileyi (Smithsonian)
0993s.jpg (3286 bytes)
Columnea rubra
0992s.jpg (3303 bytes)
Columnea rubricaulis
1001s.jpg (2077 bytes)
Columnea rubricaulis berry
676s.jpg (2136 bytes)
Columnea sanguinea 'Orange King' (Dalbergaria)

Columnea scandens var. tulae

Columnea scandens basket

Columnea scandens flowers

Columnea schiedeana (backlit)

Columnea schiedeana flower cluster

Columnea schiedeana

Columnea schiedeana 'Huatasca' (Smithsonian)

Columnea schiedeana AGGS02

Columnea  segregata (Trichantha)
1000s.jpg (3100 bytes)
Columnea spathulata (Pentadenia)

Columnea spathulata (orange flower, mottled leaf)

Columnea spathulata (yellow flower, mottled leaf)

Columnea spathulata in nature

Columnea species (red windowpane)

Columnea species (red windowpane)
1002s.jpg (2544 bytes)
Columnea species (yellow flower, red leaf veins)
677s.jpg (2701 bytes)
Columnea species (Pentadenia)
0941s.jpg (2200 bytes)
Columnea species ABG 910107

Columnea species (Costa Rica)

Columnea species (JLC-6500)

Columnea sp. corolla on the forest floor

Columnea strigosa (Pentadenia)

Columnea strigosa flower

Columnea strigosa dangling flowers

Columnea strigosa close-up

Columnea subcordata

0963s.jpg (2420 bytes)
Columnea tandapiana

Columnea "tandapiana" (Smithsonian)
0999s.jpg (2966 bytes)
Columnea tenella (Trichantha)
0998s.jpg (2322 bytes)
Columnea tenensis (Trichantha)

Columnea trollii flower

Columnea trollii fruit
1005s.jpg (3032 bytes)
Columnea urbanii
1006s.jpg (3678 bytes)
Columnea villosissima  (Dalbergaria)
0997s.jpg (2549 bytes)
Columnea villosissima flowers (Dalbergaria)
1003s.jpg (3023 bytes)
Columnea zebrina
1004s.jpg (2158 bytes)
Columnea zebrina
flower flower

Columnea Hybrids

Columnea 'Aladdin's Lamp'
673s.jpg (3642 bytes)
Columnea 'Apollo'
1017s.jpg (3291 bytes)
Columnea xBanksii

Columnea 'Bill Saylor'

Columnea 'Bold Adventure'
912s.jpg (2923 bytes)
Columnea 'Broget Stavanger'

Columnea 'Broget Stavanger' plant

Columnea 'Cascading Beauty'

Columnea 'Cayugan'

Columnea 'Early Bird'

Columnea 'Early Bird' portrait
699s.jpg (4218 bytes)
Columnea 'Flame'
790s.jpg (2458 bytes)
Columnea (Pentadenia) 'Evening Glow'

Columnea 'Goldheart'

Columnea 'Goldheart' foliage closeup

Columnea 'Great Horned'

Columnea hybrid
1031s.jpg (2150 bytes)
Columnea hybrid (flower)
1030s.jpg (1819 bytes)
Columnea hybrid galea (hood)
1105s.jpg (2757 bytes)
Columnea 'Julia'

Columnea 'Maarsen's Flame'

Columnea 'Mailissa'

Columnea 'Maryjane Evans' portrait

Columnea 'Midget'

879s.jpg (3161 bytes)
Columnea 'Midget' flowers

880s.jpg (2376 bytes)
Columnea 'Midget'  flower closeup

Columnea 'Midget' AGGS 2004

Columnea 'Mirage'

Columnea 'Orange Sherbet'
874s.jpg (4351 bytes)
Columnea 'Red King'

Columnea 'Stavanger'






More Reading:

  • Slippery

  • Sock

  • Sometime

  • Sour

  • Sow

  • Spade

  • Spill

  • Spoon

  • Stocking

  • Strap