Primary tabs



Terrestrial or epipetric, rarely epiphytic caulescent decumbent to erect herbs or subshrubs, tuberous. Stems branched or unbranched. Leaves opposite or in whorls, or congested on short stems, nearly equal in a pair or whorl, venation pinnate, foliar nectaries absent. Flowers axillary, umbellate, cymose, paniculate, or appearing terminal, 1 to many in racemes; usually epedunculate (in Guianan species); bracteoles present; pedicellate. Calyx lobes connate at base; corolla usually red or orange, rarely yellow, purplish or white, campanulate tocylindric; stamens exserted, filaments not connate, anthers coherent, dehiscing by longitudinal slits, thecae parallel to divergent; staminode small; disc of 1-5 glands, sometimes with 2 larger and connate; ovary half-inferior to almost superior, stigma stomatomorphic to capitate. Fruit a dry, brown, loculicidally dehiscent, 2-valved capsule, valves opening slightly.


Guianas present, Northern America, Southern America: Bolivia (Bolivia present); Uruguay (Uruguay present), Vera Cruz present, northern Argentina present
A wide-ranging genus of about 60-65 species from Vera Cruz in Mexico south to northern Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, and with many species in Brazil; 2 species occur in the Guianas, including the widespread S. incarnata.


Chromosome number n=13 (Skog 1984).


The best-known species in the genus is Sinningia speciosa (Lodd.) Hiern and its cultivars, known as the 'Florist's Gloxinia'. In the Gesneriaceae this species is second only to the 'African Violet' (Saintpaulia spp.) in popularity for growing as pot plants, and has been in cultivation since 1817.