Iter Hispanicum 305. 1758.

Etymology: Greek kallos, beauty, referring to the attractive leaves
Synonyms: Cuthbertia Small Leiandra Rafinesque Phyodina Rafinesque Tradescantella Small
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 22.

Herbs, perennial or rarely annual. Roots thin, rarely tuberous. Leaves spirally arranged or 2-ranked; blade sessile. Inflorescences terminal and/or axillary, cyme pairs (often aggregated into larger spikelike or paniclelike units), cymes sessile, umbel-like, contracted, subtended by bracts; bracts inconspicuous, less than 1 cm; spathaceous bracts absent; bracteoles persistent. Flowers bisexual (bisexual and pistillate in C. repens), radially symmetric; pedicels very short or well developed; sepals distinct, subequal; petals distinct, white or pink to rose [rarely blue], equal, not clawed; stamens 6 or 0–3, all fertile, equal; filaments glabrous or bearded; ovary 2–3-locular, ovules [1–]2 per locule, 1-seriate. Capsules 2–3-valved, 2–3-locular. Seeds [1-]2 per locule; hilum punctiform; embryotega abaxial. x = 6–8.


se United States, tropical America, major center of distribution in Mexico.


Species ca. 20 (7 in the flora).


1 Flowers white, filaments glabrous; plants creeping, or ascending and stoloniferous. > 2
1 Flowers pink to rose, filaments bearded; plants erect to ascending, or creeping. > 4
2 Robust, stoloniferous plants to 1 m; leaves oblong to lanceolate-oblong, 15–30 cm; flowers fragrant Callisia fragrans
2 Weak, mat-forming plants; leaves lanceolate to ovate, 1–3.5 cm; flowers odorless. > 3
3 Inflorescences sessile in distal leaf axils; flowers sessile or subsessile; petals inconspicuous; stamens 0–6; ovary and capsule 2-locular Callisia repens
3 Inflorescences pedunculate; flowers distinctly pedicellate; petals conspicuous; stamens 6; ovary and capsule 3-locular Callisia cordifolia
4 Plants creeping; leaves oblong-elliptic to lanceolate-oblong, 1–3.5 cm Callisia micrantha
4 Plants erect to ascending; leaves linear, mainly 5–25 cm. > 5
5 Distal leaf blades as wide as opened, flattened sheaths or wider, 0.4–1.5 cm wide Callisia rosea
5 Distal leaf blades much narrower than opened, flattened sheaths, 0.1–0.5 mm wide. > 6
6 Plants not cespitose or scarcely so; roots persistently woolly; bracts usually minute, scarious, 1–3(–7) mm Callisia ornata
6 Plants cespitose; roots glabrous to sparsely puberulent; bracts often elongate, ± herbaceous, 2–14 mm Callisia graminea
... more about "Callisia"
Robert B. Faden +
Loefling +
se United States +, tropical America +  and major center of distribution in Mexico. +
Greek kallos, beauty, referring to the attractive leaves +
Iter Hispanicum +
anderson1935a +  and lakela1972a +
Cuthbertia +, Leiandra +, Phyodina +  and Tradescantella +
Callisia +
Commelinaceae +