This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(twin fruit). Gesneriaceae. Attractive warmhouse herbs, with few showy flowers.
A polymorphous genus, distributed in E. India, Malaya, China, and tropical Africa, differently named and defined by different authors. Roettlera is an older name, and has been used recently, but it is discarded by the "nomina conservanda" list of the Vienna code. The genus includes Chirita and Trachystigma according to Fritsch, and it then numbers more than 100 species. Bentham & Hooker omit Chirita, which differs in its 2-parted stigma, always 2 stamens, and other characters; in this work it is kept distinct. Didymo-carpus comprises plants that are caulescent or nearly acaulescent, sometimes woody, of various habit: leaves radical and cauline, those on the stem opposite or alternate, crenate, more or less wrinkled and hairy: flowers violet, blue, white or even yellow, on few-fid. scapes or axillary peduncles; corolla with an elongated tube which is widened at the throat or ventricose, the limb spreading and somewhat 2-lobed; stamens 2 or rarely 4, the anthers connivent or coherent and cells divergent; style long or short, the stigma little dilated and entire or nearly so. - The species require the treatment given the warmhouse gesneriaceous plants; usually difficult to grow, or are soon lost because seeds may not be produced.
Several species are mentioned in horticultural literature; but the following are more recently introduced and are likely to be cult, or perhaps in the trade. They are low herbs with few leaves, resembling Streptocarpus. Many new species have recently been added to this interesting genus, and a number of them may be expected to appear in cultivation
Ridley. Stemless: leaves in a rosette, ovate, elliptic or obovate, ascending, somewhat obtuse, to 6 in. long, crenate-serrate, soft pubescent, petioled: fls, deep blue, trumpet-shaped, about 1 1/2 in. long, with rounded spreading lobes, 4 or 5 on a scape. Malaya. B.M. 8204. - Blooms in autumn; should have warm treatment, such as is given Streptocarpus.
Veitchiana, W. W. Smith. Eight in. or less: leaves 2-4 pairs, ovate, somewhat cordate at base, serrate, 4 in. or less long, stalked: flowers lilac with longitudinal fines, tubular, nearly 1 3/4in. long, in few-flowered axillary cymes. China. L. H. B.