From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chirita sinensis - Lemaire.jpg
Chirita sinensis, now known as Primulina dryas
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Gesneriaceae
Genus: Chirita
Buch.-Ham., 1825

Chirita is an Old World genus of the flowering plant family Gesneriaceae, native to Indo-Malaysia, S. E. Asia, and southern China. In 2011, the species in the genus were reassigned to several genera, with the type species (C. urticifolia) assigned to the genus Henckelia (as H. urticifolia (Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don.) A. Dietr.), so that Chirita became a synonym, no longer recognized.[1]

About (80-)150 species were recognized, about 100 of which are endemic to China. Most of the species have showy tubular flowers with five, usually rounded, petal lobes and are becoming increasingly popular as houseplants in temperate regions, much like their cousins the African violets.

Chirita comes from a Nepalese common name for a gentian.

Taxonomic changes[edit]

The genus Chirita is no longer recognized, with many species transferred to the genera Primulina and Microchirita, and several more (including the type species) to Henckelia. However, the genus name is still commonly found in the horticultural literature, especially for the most commonly cultivated species, Chirita sinensis (now Primulina dryas).

General Cultivation[edit]

Most can be grown in pots in warm (though some are known to tolerate colder conditions), humid conditions and can be propagated from seed (sown in the late winter) or by taking cuttings in the spring and summer.

The species Chirita lavandulacea (lavender chirita), now known as Microchirita lavandulacea[2] has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[3]


  1. ^ Weber, A.; Middleton, D.J.; Forrest, A.; Kiew, R.; Lim, C.L.; Rafidah, A.R.; Sontag, S.; Triboun, P.; Wei, Y.-G.; Yao, T.L.; Möller, M. (2011). "Molecular systematics and remodelling of Chirita and associated genera (Gesneriaceae)". Taxon. 60 (3): 767–790. 
  2. ^ "The Plant List". Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  3. ^

External links[edit]