The following information is based on data in the Missouri Botanical Gardens Tropicos database. It is a summary of distribution and habitat information taken from herbarium labels. These labels vary a lot in the amount of information they provide on habitat, plant descriptions and locations. Hence my brief descriptions vary in detail. This page will be updated as I find new information. Images or links to images will be provided as they become available.
Understanding the growth of tropical plants requires an understanding of the effect of elevation on the temperatures the plants experience in the wild. At elevations below about 1000 meters temperatures are high. Moderate temperatures are found between about 1000 and 2000 meters. Above this conditions are generally cool and above 3500 meters can be down right cold.
K. affinis has been collected at fairly high elevations between 2100 and 2500 meters on both sides of the Medellin Valley in the Central Cordillera. Also collected near Urrao which is a bit to the north and in the Western Cordillera. The descriptions mostly refer to it as a terrestrial herb bur one mentions it growing as an epiphyte. Other sources have indicated it often grows epiphytically.
K. digitaliflora has been collected at locations between 1650 and 2500 meters. It occurs at Urrao and near Boqueron in the mountains just west of Medellin. These collections are in the Western and Central Cordilleras respectively.
Kohleria hirsuta var. hirsuta
Collected between 325 and 1030 meters. Rio Claro near the hotel, Cocorna,along the length of the río Tabaida and in the northern and central sectors of the Rio Claro Canyon. Little information is give on its habitat but one mention is made of it being in a well lighted area and another along the banks of the Rio Claro River. Most of these collections are along the eastern slope of the Central Cordillera.
Two specimens are represented as coming from between about 2000 and 2400 meters. Both collections are from the Western Cordillera, specifically near Jardin and at Jerico. One collection mentions gaps in primary or little disturbed forest habitat.
Kohleria inaequalis var. inaequalis
One collection from between 1500 and 1600 meters below the Alto de Morrogil along the Medellin River. It mentions the plant as growing as a “Herb by the river.”
Kohleria inaequalis var. lindenii
Three collections from between about 1600 and 2000 meters. Both of these are from the Western Cordillera. These came from Frontino, Betania and Urrao. No information is given on habitats.
Kohleria inaequalis var. ocellata
Three collections, two between about 1800 and 2300 meters. One collection is listed as being from 200 meters.
Four collections from between 900 and 1400 meters. Location descriptions include; between Medellin and Santa Fe de Antioquia on a rock outcropping on dry hillside, and 65 km northeast of Antioquia on a wet hillside. I have observed this plant at the Parque Ecologico el Salado on the eastern slopes of the Medellin Valley at about 1800 meters. There it grew along the edge of disturbed woodland. All of these sites are in the Central Cordillera.
Four collections from between 1800 and 3150 meters. The majority of the collections are from higher elevations within the range given. The specimens are from Piedras Blancas Ecological Park along Piedras Blancas Creek, near Urrao, along the road between San Antonio de Prado and Heliconia , and near Abriqui. It is mentioned as growing both terrestrially and as an epiphyte.
Seven collections from the following locations: Valley of Río Anorí between Dos Bocas and Anorí; Cauca Valley, 10 km N of Valdivia; Banks of the Río Cauca at Puerto Valdivia; near Chigorodó; near Cisneros; along the road between Remedios-Zaragoza; just W of vereda Narices near San Carlos. The elevation range for the collections is between 60 and 1100 meters making this a plant of the hot lowlands.
The collection of this species are from between about 1900 and 2300 meters. Locations mentioned included: Along road between Jericó and Tamesis ca. 5 mi NW of Tamesis; Los Rastrojos, on the road between Cementos El Cairo and Abejorral; near Jardin at Vereda Moro Amarillo; Boqueron; and 20 km South of Medellín. Descriptions of habitat conditions include, “moist hillside, where there is fog and wind every afternoon” and “Lithophytic… along stream below huge outcrop.