The sinningia gloxinia (pronounced sin-NING-ee-a) is named after Wilhem Sinning, a noted German botanist who played a key role in hybridising the plant back in the early twentieth century. Nowadays it is known more commonly as gloxinia.
The plant has large flowers that are shaped like trumpets with either plain or ruffled edges and a velvet texture. At the base of the stem there are clusters of felted leaves, up to three inches or more across. These can flower for up to two months in shades of pink, white, red, salmon orange, violet and blue.
The origin of sinningia gloxinia is Central and South America and it’s now a popular indoor plant. It was first discovered in 1785, in Brazil.
The plants can be propagated in late spring or summer and mature leaves can increase summer plants. Simply remove them from the plant and cut notches below the main vein junctions on the underside. These can be laid out on peat moss and anchored with small pebbles. Seeds can also be grown in equal parts of sand, leaf mould and peat.
The plant is of the gesneriaceae family and has some of the most varied flower types – with around forty to fifty different species, the most of which have tubular shaped flowers. Most of the sinningia gloxinia family are crossed hybrids between sinningia regina and speciosa and there are both single and double flowering hybrids. Newer hybrid varieties (such as sinningia pafuflora) have lilac flowers and there are also miniature varieties such as the tiny sinningia pusilla which has tiny lilac-pink flowers of less than 18 mm each.
To care for your plant, place it in a brightly lit, warm and humid area and keep it watered well from the bottom. Don’t mist the leaves or flowers and feed it fortnightly during flowering season. They will also grow again the following season if cared for.
Did you know?
The care requirements of the sinningia gloxinia is similar to African Violets, except that the former has greater light requirements and has dormant period.