Four species are recognized in the Andean genus Heppiella: H. ulmifolia that ranges from Colombia to Peru, H. viscida from northwestern Venezuela, H. verticillata from the Eastern Cordillera of Ecuador and adjacent Colombia, and H. repens from Ecuador and southern Colombia. The former three species have allopatric distributions, occur in disturbed habitats, and are terrestrial. Heppiella repens is sympatric with H. ulmifolia and H. verticillata, occurs in mist forests, and is usually climbing and epiphytic. Heppiella has apparently developed from ancestors close to Gloxinia, and this latter genus was used as an outgroup in a cladistic analysis. The only derived features that the widespread and variable H. ulmifolia possesses are those that distinguish Heppiella from Gloxinia. The three more restricted species have no derived features in common, and have apparently evolved independently from geographically isolated populations of H. ulmifolia.
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