Described in 1801 by Antonio José Cavanilles from material collected on the island of Chiloé. This is a monotypic genus, containing no other species. Botillita, a popular vernacular name throughout its range, is Spanish for 'little bottle', in reference to the flower shape.
Pollination in natural populations is most probably attributable to the green-backed firecrown hummingbird as these birds are drawn to bright red, orange and yellow flowers though other birds and insects frequent the flowers.
Of Gondwanan origin, the plant family Gesneriaceae comprises more than 150 genera and well known family members include: the African violets, Saintpaulia species; gloxinias, Sinningia hybrids and the Streptocarpus species.
The Coronantheroid group, with nectaries embedded in the ovaries, occurs in South America and the Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand. This group consists of 9 genera. Fieldia australis, a velvety-leaved climber in the local Blue Mountains rainforest has cream-coloured flowers, very similar to those of our featured plant. An example is on the restaurant side of the Visitor Centre entrance.
Sometimes available through cool-climate nurseries.