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SINNINGIA speciosa

Image of Sinningia speciosa

James H. Schutte

Family

Gesnariaceae

Botanical Name

SINNINGIA speciosa

Plant Common Name

Sinningia

General Description

Florist’s gloxinia is exquisite when in bloom with its large, bell-shaped white, red or violet-blue flowers. This evergreen, frost-intolerant perennial is native to southern Brazil and grows from a tuber, an enlarged underground stem. Numerous cultivars have been developed from this original species to introduce a broader range of colors, floral shapes and petal numbers. They are most commonly grown as houseplants.

This gloxinia grows as a rosette of oblong-oval leaves with velvety hairs. The underside of the leaves is reddish and the edges can be scalloped. In the warmth of late spring and summer, the center of the rosette becomes home to single or clustered bell-shaped flowers that slightly nod. They are white, violet-blue or red. In its native rainforests of Brazil, this plant would be pollinated by hummingbirds.

The florist gloxinia shade with bright light. It does not tolerate alkaline soil, cold, or excessive heat, and low humidity will cause leaves to crisp. Outdoors it is suitable only in tropical areas with cool, comfortable evenings and no hot days. Indoors, grow the florist’sgloxinia in a moist, acidic, well-drained. After it flowers, reduce watering somewhat. Place its pot atop a tray of pebbles with water to raise humidity. It is a great addition to a collection of African violets (Saintpaulia) and slipper orchids (Paphiopedilum).

Many hybrids and cultivars are now available with very showy flower shapes and colors. Ruffled petals and bicolor-edged flowers are common in florist gloxinias.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    11 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2

  • Plant Type

    Bulb or Corm or Tuber

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    South America, Brazil

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Red, Blue Violet

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Groundcover, Houseplant, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No