Sinninga speciosa fyfiana, or Gloxinia, is a hybrid Sinninga of florists. It is a commercial hybrid involving S. speciosa and S. crassifolia. Sinninga speciosa is divided into three groups which involve flowers size and color: the Speciosa group includes only the wild forms with small nodding flowers; the Maxima group has flowers similar to the speciosa group, but with larger flowers and greater color range; and the Fyfiana group has large erect flowers (most cultivars fall into this group). Plants rarely reach over 12 inches (30 cm) and all have short petioles with the leaf blade reaching up to 8 inches (20 cm) long by 6 inches (15 cm) wide. The leaves are oblong-ovate and have fine hairs on both surfaces. All forms make excellent houseplants.
Blooming: In the greenhouse, the plants begin blooming in late spring and last until late summer. The large campanulate flowers are very showy.
Culture: Sinninga speciosa fyfiana need full shade and a rich well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite. During the growing season, the plants are kept moist but not overly wet and fertilized weekly. The tubers are available in garden centers in January-March. Tubers are planted 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep and watered sparingly until leaves appear. Watering plants from below and fertilize weekly after the leaves appear. After flowering, the plants should be allowed to dry out slowly and tubers should be stored in a cool dark place with enough moisture to keep them from shriveling. Repotting should be done in January- February.
Propagation: Sinninga speciosa fyfiana are propagated from leaf cuttings or the division of the tuber in winter or by seed. Seed obtained from Park seed germinated in 14-21 days at 70°F (22°C).
Sinninga speciosa fyfiana was featured as Plant of the Week July 22-28, 2005.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.