Paraboea capitata Ridl. var. oblongifolia Ridl.
by Ms. Ummul Nazrah Abdul Rahman
Paraboea capitata Ridl. var. oblongifolia Ridl.
by Ms. Ummul Nazrah Abdul Rahman

Paraboea capitata Ridl. var. oblongifolia Ridl. belongs to the Gesneriaceae family. This variety is endemic to Peninsular Malaysia and only grows on four limestone hills, three in Perak and one in Kelantan. It grows near the base of the limestone hill on damp shaded rock faces and in gullies. This variety is a perennial herb, sometimes with a rhizome up to 10 cm long. The typical or distinctive feature of this genus is the type of indumentums. Normally the leaves are whitish underneath from a felty or woolly covering of hairs but some species are brown underneath. Its leaves are opposite and congested into a rosette. As its name suggests, it has oblong to obovate leaves and these distinguish it from the typical variety that has broadly ovate leaves. It has axillary inflorescences with the peduncle much longer than the leaves and usually covered with rusty brown hairs. The flower arrangement is cymose. The petals are white, glabrous and the corolla tube is short. The stamens are bright yellow, and the anthers transversely ellipsoid. The stigma is larger than the style that has a green base. Typical of this species is the linear and untwisted fruit that is glabrous, green when young, and opens by upper suture. The seeds are ovoid and brown.

Paraboea capitata Ridl. var. oblongifolia Ridl. is categorised as Endangered (EN B2ab(iii)) under the IUCN criteria. This species continues to decline in number of populations, although it is recorded from two states and from about four hills, none falls within the Network of Totally Protected Areas and, in common with the limestone flora as a whole in Perak, risk of extinction is due to a combination of quarrying for cement or marble, agricultural activities, urban development, ecotourism and temple building.


  1. Kiew, R., Ummul Nazrah, A.R. & Chua, L.S.L. (2011). Conservation status of Paraboea (Gerneriaceae) in Malaysia. Gardens' Bulletin Singapore: Proceedings of the 8th Flora Malesiana Symposium 63 (1 & 2), 441-458
  2. Xu, Z.R., Burtt, B.L., Skog, L.E. & Middleton, D.J. (2008). A Revision of Paraboea (Gesneriaceae). Edinburgh Journal of Botany 65 (2), 161-347
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