Wigandia is a genus of flowering plants within the waterleaf subfamily, Hydrophylloideae. They are found mainly in Central America and South America, though one or two species are found as far north as the United States. Some are grown as ornamental plants and will flourish in most Mediterranean or temperate regions. The genus is named for Johann Wigand (ca. 1523-1587), German Lutheran cleric and theologian, and Bishop of Pomesania.[1]

Wigandia kunthii choisy.jpg
Wigandia kunthii var. choisy
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Boraginales
Family: Boraginaceae
Subfamily: Hydrophylloideae
Genus: Wigandia
Type species
Wigandia caracasana

Over 20 species: see text

Within the Hydrophylloideae, Wigandia species are unusual in having minute seeds and a high base chromosome number (19); it is also the only neotropical genus in the subfamily.[2]

Some species originally classified in Wigandia are now treated in other genera, e.g. Eriodictyon. There is a group of closely related genera within the Hydrophylloideae subfamily, and it is likely that further taxonomic work will result in additional reclassifications. A recent molecular phylogenetic analysis of the Hydrophylloideae[3] included two Wigandia species (W. caracasana and W. urens), and confirmed that they lay within a clade that includes Eriodictyon, and also the genera Nama and Turricula.

The genus as currently recognized comprises over 20 species, including the following:

Species formerly classified within Wigandia include:


  1. ^ "CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants" - Umberto Quattrocchi
  2. ^ Constance, L. (1963). Chromosome number and classification in Hydrophyllaceae. Brittonia, 15, 273-285.
  3. ^ Ferguson, D. M. (1998). Phylogenetic analysis and relationships in Hydrophyllaceae based on ndhF sequence data. Systematic Botany, 23, 253-268.
  4. ^ Cornejo, X. (2007). Wigandia brevistyla: a new Hydrophyllaceae from the Dominican republic. Anales Del Jardin Botanico De Madrid, 64, 63-67.
  5. ^ Cornejo, X. (2006). Wigandia ecuadorensis (Hydrophyllaceae), a new species of the tropical dry forests on the west coast of Ecuador. Novon, 16, 324-327.