Gesneriads (pronounced either "guess-NARE-ee-ads" or "jez-NARE-ee-ads") are colorful houseplants grown for their flowers and foliage.
The gesneriad family contains over 2,500 species of plants. Perhaps the best-known member of the gesneriad family is the African Violet (right).
Most gesneriads are from tropical and subtropical regions and are often found growing in humus-filled depressions or rock crevices, on humus-covered forest floors or epiphytically on tree branches. There is a wide variety of plant sizes, shapes, flowers and colors. This is a plant family of great diversity. Many of the easiest and most satisfying house plants are gesneriads
Some gesneriads have been hybridized extensively, resulting in hundreds of cultivars that can be quite different from the species. In addition to the African Violet, some of the more common gesneriads grown by hobbyists are the Florist Gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa), Lipstick Plant (Aeschynanthus), Goldfish Plant (Nematanthus), Cape Primrose (Streptocarpus), Flame Violet (Episcia), and Cupid's Bower (Achimenes).
Photos from the 2006 Convention courtesy of the Gesneriad Society
Kohleria 'Peridots Kitlope' – Eileen McGrath Aeschynanthus ×splendidus – Lyndon Lyon Greenhouses Streptocarpus 'Jaco's Gem' – Bill Price
For more information about NETGS contact our Chapter President, Leslie Milde at firstname.lastname@example.org
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