Gesneriad Cousins

Monday, August 16, 2010

When I bought this plant, I asked the nursery owner if this is a Guppy Plant, and he quickly said, "No, I don't know." Shortly after that, however, he blurred out, "Goldfish!"

I thought that he gave me a really spontaneous and clever answer. Yup, the flowers really look like goldfish. When I got back, I double-checked the plant ID. He was right... the plant is indeed also called 'Goldfish'!


Copper Leaf plant or Sunset Bells in the pic below came with one given plant. I dug out the little plant (that tagged along with larger given plant) and repotted it into a separate container. The plant took off really well... fast growing and quick to produce attractive 'bells' (flowers).


The plant is not fussy at all and could withstand more light and more water than other Gesneriads I have. It's another wonderful flowering plant to be placed in the bright shade!


Gesneriad family of plants have very interesting growth habits and attractive flowers. They are so appealing. Hmm... now I wonder if there are more plants from this family that I shouldn't miss out on. Please recommend ok ;-)

Else, you can share which plant from this family you love best or growing well in your garden. I love to hear from you!

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20 comments

  1. I have the Goldfish plant as well ... it is such a no-nonsense easy-care plant, I just love it. It looks fabulous when it's covered in those amazing flowers ... your photo shows why it has that common name of Goldfish plant ... great shot!
    Love your Sunset Bells. I have an Episcia with flame red flowers ... quite lovely, but in the wrong spot in my garden (note to self ... have to move it!). I also have two African Violets ... they just don't seem to want to flower! I've never really had much luck with them ... but these two just keep on keeping on ... only showing one or two blooms every now and then. So frustrating!

    I've heard that the Lipstick plant is another great Gesneriad. Have you ever had one of those ... I've never tried them but they're on my wish list.

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  2. So cute! So they are related to lipstick plants? No wonder they look similar.

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  3. Actually I have around 8 "cousins" in the family of Gesneriad: African violets, Aeschynanthus garrettii, Aeschynanthus speciosus, Aeschynanthus radicans, Chrysothemis pulchella, Nematanthus, Columnea, and Episcia.
    Of all these, I have found Aeschynanthus garrettii and speciosus very easy to grow as they are epiphytes, I think.

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  4. The goldfish looks like a plant that will grow tall and never afraid of height. The second plant, which kakdah happens to have one in pot, prefer to stay low. In our case, the plant looks happy in slightly shady area. The flowers are almost identical at least on colour.... ~bangchik

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  6. The flowers really look like goldfish!
    The other day , I saw sunset bell plant in the nursery near my house but it doesn't look so healthy so i never buy.... The flowers are realy beautiful! I should get one for myself!

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  7. My mother has lots of Crysothemis pulchella, they don't like too much water. But i don't know your goldfish plants though. Steph, i am inviting you to see my orchids again, i am back to orchids.

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  8. Another plant from this family is the Episcias.
    I like them because of their leaves ... so many variation in the colors and the flowers when they bloom together look stunning. They are usually ground cover plants when found in their natural surroundings. So they make easy houseplants because they are shade loving. They will grow well once you can give them the humidity.

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  9. Oh I have the Sunset Bells. They do pretty well here...they just need a bright spot to thrive!

    The Goldfish plant is beautiful. The blooms do resemble the fish. I'll be on the lookout for this plant. Glad you did a post on this!

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  10. Think I know what new plant to buy for my husband. He's high on goldfish. We have an aquarium and a 3x5ft fiber glass tank full of gold fishes. May be I'll buy a guppy plant too! Thanks Steph for posting this. Anyway, gorgeous orange blooms and gorgeous pics too, as always!

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  11. I have a goldfish plant too. I took some cuttings and rooted them in soil last weekend. It's such a cutie, and blooms all year long.
    Suzanne

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  12. I have the copperleaf plant (last pic) but your goldfish plant look fabulous.
    I guess I will add this one also in my garden if I came across it.
    Thanks for sharing this info.

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  13. The Goldfish can be a good CNY plant.

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  14. Hi Stephanie, the Gesneriads are a big family. The "Goldfish" looks very cute and is a lovely addition to your varied garden; a plants woman's garden! I grew windowsills full of African Violets; until they were so infested with woolly
    aphids that I had to ditch the lot. From time to time I grew the odd Streptocarpus,Columnea, Aeschynantus and Episcia which are my favourites.
    Especially the white one. The choice is yours.
    They are all beautiful and would do well in your garden. Very attractive are also the Sinningia, I think you grow Gloxinia which belong to this family if I am right.

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  15. Who ever said yellow colours in garden are ugly, I find them beautiful and bright. Your bells really reminds me og sunrise ( and the famous dirnk), lovely colour :)

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  16. Goldfish - hah hah :) I like them.

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  17. Chawanmushi, Bernie, Titania, thanks for your suggestions! I will definitely keep those plants in mind. Wow Ha Xuan! you have so many already!

    Bernie, I am glad to learn that Goldfish plant is easy to care for. However currently, the foliage tend to become dry and then drop. Not sure if this is a good sign...

    Aaron, yes, lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus) belongs to gesneriad also :-)

    Bangchik, ha ha... actually I purposely highlight these two plants together... yes, they have same colours!

    Andrea, you are right, sunset bells does not like to be over-watered.

    Rita, Mia, Suzanne, foodbin, Rosa, Malar, James, I sure pet lovers will find Goldfish plant attractive also ;-)

    Kanak, I know you have Sunset Bells. Yours are lovely.

    Titania, my Gloxinia is also susceptible to wholly aphid but the plant seems to be able to tolerate it better than AVs. One of my AVs (a variegated leaf one), died due to wholly aphid and also probably soil problem. Yes, Gloxinia is one of gesneriad plants :-)

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  18. They are such a delicate yellowy orange. I like them. And an appropriate name as well.

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  19. Rosey, young children could probably guess their names :-D

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  20. I love those ' cute smacky lips' of the 'Goldfish'!

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