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Dr. Andreas Fleischmann

Research Scientist and Curator of Vascular Plants


Botanische Staatssammlung München
Menzinger Straße 67
80638 München


Fon:+49 89 17861-240
Fax:+49 89 17861-193
Room:130, first floor



Research interests

  • Systematics and evolution of carnivorous plant families (especially Droseraceae and Lentibulariaceae)
  • Flora of the Guayana Highlands (especially Droseraceae, Lentibulariaceae, Sarraceniaceae, Polygala, Xyris, Burmannia)
  • Biology of parasitic plants (especially Orobanchaceae and Cuscuta) and mycoheterotrophic plants (especially Burmanniaceae and Gentianaceae)
  • Palaeobotany and palaeomycology
  • Biology and systematics of the genus Drosera

Current project

  • Phylogenetic relationships, systematics and biology of carnivorous Lamiales, with special focus on the genus Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae). In cooperation with Prof. Kai Müller, Evolution and Biodiverstiy of Plants, Universtiy Münster. The resulting dissertation of AF was funded by the graduate funding of the Universität Bayern (Stipendium nach dem Bayerischen Eliteförderungsgesetz (BayEFG)).
  • Systematics and taxomony of Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae)
  • Systematics and evolution of the genus Heliamphora (Sarraceniaceae)
  • Scents in carnivorous plants (cooperation with Dr. Boris Schlumpberger, Munich and Dr. Andreas Jürgens, Pietermaritzburg)
  • Treatment of Lentibulariaceae for the “Flore du Gabon”, with Marc Sosef (National Botanic Garden of Belgium) and Eberhard Fischer (University of Koblenz).
  • Contributor to the 96th, edited volume of the German flora field guide “Schmeil-Fitschen: Flora von Deutschland”.

Sytematics and evolution of the genus Heliamphora (Sarraceniaceae)

The genus Heliamphora belongs to the carnivorous plant family Sarraceniaceae (Ericales) and comprises 23 species, of which eleven have been described in the past seven years (Fleischmann et al., 2009). All of them are fibrous-rooted herbs with inflated, tubular pitcher-like leaves. The general habit is a lax rosette of leaves, although two species may develop monopodial stems up to 4 m tall (Berry et al., 2005; Maguire 1978).

The carnivorous pitcher leaves of Heliamphora are usually broadly tubular, widening from a ventricose lower part to a tubular or flaring upper part (pitcher mouth), usually with a notable constriction between those two parts. The pitchers may reach 5 – 50 cm in height, depending on species and growth conditions (plants growing in more shaded conditions usually develop taller and wider pitchers compared to individuals exposed to full sunlight). The pitcher appendage (lid) varies considerably between different species: generally, it’s more or less spoon or helmet-shaped and held over the elliptic pitcher mouth; but some species bear a ligulate-oblong, upright appendage, whereas in one species, H. folliculata, a unique lid that serves as nectar reservoir has evolved. In H. sarracenioides and H. exappendiculata, the lid is not developed or strongly reduced. Existing taxonomic concepts are mainly based on the variable morphological characters of shape and size of pitcher and lid, as well as on the number and length of anthers and the distribution and size of the retrorse hairs on the internal pitcher surface (Berry et al., 2005; Steyermark, 1984; Maguire, 1978).

The unique, isolated distribution of the genus on the remote and quite inaccessable table mountain plateaus (tepuis) of the Venezuelan Guayana, and therefore a rather poor collection history of the genus, as well as the lack of stable morphological characters for a suitable species delimination were the main reasons for the poverty of taxonomical work on Heliamphora (Steyermark, 1984; Maguire, 1978; Steyermark, 1951).

The aims of my studies were to investigate the deliminations and phylogenetic relationships of all known species of Heliamphora using molecular sequence data, to compare the results with the morphology-based species concepts proposed for the genus (Steyermark, 1984; Maguire, 1978), and to infer the origin and biogeographic distribution of Heliamphora, as well as the evolution of chromosome numbers (Fleischmann et al., in prep.).


Berry P.E., Riina R. & J.A. Steyermark (2005): Sarraceniaceae. In: Steyermark J.A., Berry P.E., Yatskievych K. & B.K. Holst (Eds.): Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana - Volume 9. Missouri Botanical Garden, USA.

Fleischmann A., Wistuba A. & J. Nerz (2009): Three new species of Heliamphora (Sarraceniaceae) from the Guayana Highlands of Venezuela. Willdenowia 39 (2): 273 – 283.

Maguire B. (1978): Sarraceniaceae, in: The Botany of the Guayana Highland - Part X. Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden 29: 36 – 62.

Steyermark J.A. (1951): Botanical Exploration in Venezuela - 1. Fieldiana: Botany 28 (1): 239 – 242.

Steyermark J.A. (1984): Venezuelan Guayana. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 71: 302 – 312.

Genlisea A. St.-Hil.

The genus Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae, Lamiales) consists of 30 species currently recognized (Fleischmann et al. 2017; Fleischmann 2018), which are small annual or (more frequently) perennial herbs, one species is a tuberous geophyte (Rivadavia et al. 2013). They usually grow in open exposed habitats poor in nutrients, sometimes as submerged aquatics, but usually as rosetted terrestrials. All species of Genlisea lack roots, but produce two different kinds of leaves: the green leaves above ground are usually spatulate or broadly lanceolate and arranged in a dense rosette. The pale, achlorophyllous subterraneous leaves (rhizophylls) are Y-shaped and end in two helically twisted arms. They trap and digest small soil invertebrates, but also algae and protozoa (Barthlott et al., 1998; Fleischmann 2012), which enter the rhizophylls and are caught by retrose trichomes.

The smallest known genomes in angiosperms have been reported from some species of Genlisea, with holoploid C-values of c. 75-71 Mbp (Greilhuber et al. 2006; Fleischmann et al. 2014).

The two subgenera proposed for Genlisea (Fischer et al., 2000, based on the taxonomic section concept of Fromm-Trinta, 1977) can be distinguished by the dehiscence of the capsules: While in members of subgenus Tayloria the capsule opens septicidally, subgenus Genlisea displays a circumsessile opening (with capsules occasionally open spirally, which is a very rare feature in the plant kingdom). Main characters for species delimination are the shape of the corolla and the distribution pattern of glandular and non-glandular hairs on scape, sepals and capsule (Fleischmann 2012).

Subgenus Tayloria comprises eight species endemic to the highlands of northeastern Brazil (Fleischmann et al. 2011), members of subgenus Genlisea are found both in South America and tropical Africa, with one species ranging to Madagascar (Fleischmann 2012). The phylobiogeographic distribution can be explained by bidirectional trans-Atlantic long-distance dispersal (Fleischmann et al. 2010).


Barthlott W., Porembski S., Fischer E., Gemmel B. (1998): First protozoa-trapping plant found. Nature 392: 447.

Fischer E., Porembski S., Barthlott W. (2000): Revision of the genus Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae) in Africa and Madagascar with notes on ecology and phytogeography. Nordic Journal of Botany 20: 291 – 318.

Fleischmann A. (2018): Systematics and evolution of Lentibulariaceae: II. Genlisea. In: Ellison A.M. & Adamec L. (eds.): Carnivorous plants: physiology, ecology, and evolution. Oxford University Press, 81 – 88.

Fleischmann A. (2012): Monograph of the genus Genlisea. Redfern Natural History Productions Ltd., Poole. 727 pp.

Fleischmann A., Costa S.M., Bittrich V., Amaral M.C.E. & Hopkins M. (2017): A new species of corkscrew plant (Genlisea, Lentibulariaceae) from the Amazon lowlands of Brazil, including a key to all species occurring north of the Amazon River. Phytotaxa 319: 289 – 297

Fleischmann A., Michael T.P., Rivadavia F., Sousa A., Wang W., Temsch E.M., Greilhuber J., Müller K.F. & G. Heubl (2014): Evolution of genome size and chromosome number in the carnivorous plant genus Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae), with a new estimate of the minimum genome size in angiosperms. Annals of Botany 114: 1651 – 1663.

Fleischmann A., Rivadavia F., Gonella P.M., Heubl G. (2011): A revision of Genlisea subgenus Tayloria (Lentibulariaceae). Phytotaxa 33: 1 – 40.

Fleischmann A., Schäferhoff B., Heubl G., Rivadavia F., Barthlott W. & K.F. Müller (2010): Phylogenetics and character evolution in the carnivorous plant genus Genlisea A. St.-Hil. (Lentibulariaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56: 768 – 783.

Fromm-Trinta E. (1977): Tayloria Fromm-Trinta - Nova Seca do genere Genlisea St.-Hil. Boletim do Museu Nacional Rio de Janeiro, Botanica 44: 1 – 4.

Greilhuber J., Borsch T., Müller K., Worberg A., Porembski S. & Barthlott W. (2006): Smallest angiosperm genomes found in Lentibulariaceae, with chromosomes of bacterial size. Plant Biology 8: 770 – 777.

Rivadavia F., Gonella P.M. & A. Fleischmann (2013): A new and tuberous species of Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae) from the campos rupestres of Brazil. Systematic Botany 38: 464 – 470.

Last update: 2018-04-10