The Gesneriad Reference Web is the most comprehensive assembly of information on the Gesneriaceae, anywhere. There is a great deal of content in different forms, and this could end up making it difficult to find what you’re looking for. We’ve tried to make it easy.
There are three main site components, each serving a different function and each accessible directly from the menu bar at the top of every page:
- The Genus Pages, accessible from the Genera link
- Articles, which provide comprehensive information on particular topics
- Antique Prints, an archive of 200-year-old artwork illustrating the family
When you click on “Genera” you will be taken to a page with a listing of all the Gesneriad Genera available on the site. Each genus is accompanied by a representative thumbnail so you can have some idea of what is behind the button. Click on the thumbnail for a genus and you will be taken to a brief description of the genus, and an invitation to proceed to view images. There will always be a link to “Species”, which are the varieties of plants that grow wild in nature. There may also be a link to “Hybrids”, which are man-made varieties created by crossing different species or forms of species. Sometimes it’s possible to make crosses between different genera, and if this has happened there will also be a link for “Intergenerics”.
When you navigate to one of these sections, you will be presented with another set of thumbnail images, one for each of the associated Plant Pages. Clicking on a thumbnail will take you to that Plant Page, where there will be a large picture of the subject, and usually some narrative text discussing the plant. Within this text there may be other links that will result in display of other photos of the subject, or take you to another page. At the bottom of the page is a “Back to Genus” link, that will take you back to the main genus page for the current Plant Page; you can also click your browser’s back button to go to the last page you visited.
The site contains an always-growing set of articles on individual genera or groups of genera, or on other topics. These provide detailed information on the specific topic, often spanning many illustrated pages. The Articles are a resource for all professionals seeking information outside of their main area of expertise, enthusiasts seeking to expand their knowledge and beginners eager to find out more about these fascinating gesneriads. Articles will sometimes contain links to other pages within the site and to external resources.
Gesneriads have been the subject of skilled botanical artists since the late 18th Century, with a huge number of beautiful prints created for botanical publications through the 19th Century. We’ve collected many of these, scanned them, and posted them on the site for your review and appreciation. Feel free to share and use these images (long out of copyright), and if you need higher resolution, we’ll try to help.
There are a number of other site features and content:
- On many plant pages, and in some articles, you will find that hovering your cursor over a main image will result in magnification of the image. This allows you to examine detail in the photograph that may not be readily visible at the normal display size. Note that not all images have a large “background” image available for zooming. The wonderful image zoom tool on this site is created by Magic Zoom.
- Information on other Resources is available from the link on the top menu bar
- Site Indices, also available from the top menu bar, provide ready access to almost all site content, alphabetically.
- Contact the overall site editors through the form available from the Contact Us link in the menu bar, or contact individual genus editors from the links available from every genus page