Nematanthus, Codonanthe and Related Intergenerics

Nematanthus and Codonanthe are South and Central American species, often characterized by relatively succulent, hard-surfaced foliage, although these characteristics are not evident to the same degree in all species. Most are grown as basket plants, and have a branching and spreading habit, with some members of the Codonanthe group being more inclined to produce large baskets with wiry and trailing stems.

Nematanthus (some of which are still occasionally known by the old term Hypocyrta) have a characteristic pouched flower, usually but not always with a very small opening. They are generally epiphytic in nature, and like most tropical plants adapted to that habitat, require a fairly open planting medium that is allowed to dry somewhat between waterings.

Codonanthe can be epiphytic, but are also reported as being closely associated with several species of ants. In the latter case, the plants grow on anthills, with the roots helping to bind the loose soil of the hill together. The seeds are apparently similar in appearance to ant eggs or larvae, and are carried by the ants when migrating to a new location, where they germinate and start the cycle over again.

Codonanthe flowers are generally white, with or without fimbriation and spotting. They are small, but produced in large numbers on a well-grown plant. The fruit is a berry, often colorful, which is allowed to remain on show plants as it is decorative and conducive to an overall favorable effect. Like Nematanthus, Codonanthe requires a fairly open medium that is allowed to dry somewhat between waterings.

The intergeneric hybrids, referred to as xCodonatanthus, are very showy, with flowers intermediate between the two parents.



Codonanthe caribae
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Codonanthe carnosa

Codonanthe carnosa

Codonanthe carnosa (Smithsonian)

Codonanthe devosiana

Codonanthe devosiana 'Paula'

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Codonanthe devosiana

Codonanthe devosiana 'Paula' AGGS02

Codonanthe digna

Codonanthe digna 'Moonlight'

Codonanthe elegans

Codonanthe elegans flower

Codonanthe elegans plant GS07

Codonanthe elegans flower GS07

Codonanthe erubescens berries

Codonanthe erubescens

Codonanthe gracilis (fruit)

Codonanthe gracilis

Codonanthe gracilis berries (Smithsonian)

Codonanthe longicalyx

Codonanthe luteola

Codonanthe macrodenia

Codonanthe macrodenia flower

Codonanthe mattos-silvae

Codonanthe picta

Codonanthe serrulata

Codonanthe serrulata (detail)

Codonanthe serrulata (Smithsonian)


Codonanthe carnosa x C. devosiana  'Paula'

Codonanthe gracilis x C. devosiana  'Paula'

Codonanthe gracilis x C. digna 'Moonlight'

xCodonatanthus 'Aurora'

xCodonatanthus 'Barsoom'

xCodonatanthus 'Barsoom' flowers

xCodonatanthus 'Antique Gold'

xCodonatanthus 'Fiesta'

xCodonatanthus 'Springtime'
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xCodonatanthus 'Tambourine'

xCodonatanthus 'Vista' flowers

xCodonatanthus 'Vista' AGGS02

xCodonatanthus 'Vista'


Nematanthus albus Chautems ('Santa Teresa')

Nematanthus albus Chautems  2 ('Santa Teresa')

Nematanthus albus Chautems  (Smithsonian)

Nematanthus albus  (Smithsonian)

Nematanthus brasiliensis

Nematanthus brasiliensis flower side

Nematanthus brasiliensis face and throat

Nematanthus brasiliensis flowering stem
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Nematanthus corticola

Nematanthus corticola

Nematanthus corticola GS06

Nematanthus crassifolius (Smithsonian)
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Nematanthus crassifolius

Nematanthus crassifolius BS11453

Nematanthus fluminensis natural light

Nematanthus fluminensis

Nematanthus fritschii

Nematanthus gregarius 'Golden West' leaves (Wisley)

Nematanthus gregarious 'Golden West' (Wisley)

Nematanthus gregarius 'Golden West' stem (Wisley)

Nematanthus hirtellus (RBGE)

Nematanthus hirtellus

Nematanthus hirtellus (detail)

Nematanthus maculatus
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Nematanthus maculatus with lizard

Nematanthus monanthos
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Nematanthus punctatus
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Nematanthus punctatus

Nematanthus serpens

Nematanthus species USBRG 94-311

Nematanthus species (GRF)

Nematantus sp nov Esperance (Chautems)

Nematanthus tessmannii flowers

Nematanthus tessmannii

Nematanthus strigillosus
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Nematanthus strigillosus

Nematanthus villosus
Nematanthus villosus AGGS 04
Nematanthus wettsteinii
Nematanthus wettsteinii AGGS02


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Nematanthus 'Black Gold'

Nematanthus 'Butterscotch'

Nematanthus 'Castanet'

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Nematanthus 'Chatterbox'
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Nematanthus 'Chatterbox' flower

Nematanthus 'Christmas Holly'

Nematanthus 'Freckles'

Nematanthus 'Hawaiian Jade'

Nematanthus 'Hawaiian Jade' flowers/foliage

Nematanthus 'Rio'

Nematanthus 'Stoplight'
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Nematanthus 'Stoplight' 2
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Nematanthus 'Tropicana' flower
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Nematanthus 'Tropicana' plant






More Reading:

  • Slippery

  • Sock

  • Sometime

  • Sour

  • Sow

  • Spade

  • Spill

  • Spoon

  • Stocking

  • Strap