Our data show that purple and white Gesneriad
flowers dominate all regions, including Hainan Island, indicating Gesneriaceae in these regions are mainly visited by bees, including Bombus, Chalcididae, Amegilla and Lasioglossum (Gao et al.
Epiphytes, which include many bromeliads, ferns, gesneriads
, and orchids, are plants that grow upon other plants.
The founder and head of Sarasota's Gesneriad Research Foundation, Wiehler is prominent in the small but passionate subculture of people who burn for gesneriads, a large family of exotic and often strikingly beautiful tropical plants.
Wiehler will tell you gesneriads are "wonderful" and even "intelligent" plants, ingeniously adapted to their environments and fascinating from the tips of their shapely leaves to their quirky sex lives (disparate species can be bred to produce new species, and many are pollinated by only a single kind of insect out of the near-infinite number in the tropics).
In 1970, he traveled to the hinterlands of Ecuador, and when his host learned that Wiehler was interested in gesneriads, he said, "Why, I have a whole rainforest just for you
In seconds, I saw more than 30 species of gesneriads.
The park would also include centers for rainforest plant research, including the new home of the Gesneriad Research Foundation.
Standing in his little rainforest in his sweaty T-shirt and sunbleached old shorts, Wiehler - whose stipend from the Gesneriad Foundation is all of $800 a month - cheerfully brushes aside any suggestions that his idea may seem audacious and impossible.