Gloxinia perennis

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Gloxinia perennis


Terrestrial herb, to 1 m tall. Stem subwoody at base, succulent above, erect or ascending, nearly glabrous. Leaves subequal in a pair; petiole 1.4-12.0 cm long, sparsely pilose; blade papyraceous when dry, orbicular, ovate to rarely obovate, 5.5-14.7(-18) cm x 3.4-9.5(-14) cm, margin coarsely crenate to serrate, apex obtuse to acute, base sometimes oblique, truncate, rounded to usually cordate, above glabrous to sparsely strigose, below glabrous or with a few scattered hairs. Flowers appearing terminal, but actually solitary on a raceme-like stem; epedunculate; pedicel 0.5-4.0 cm long, more or less glabrous. Calyx spreading campanulate, light green, sometimes streaked with red, lobes free, spreading, subequal, lanceolate to oblong, 0.7-1.9 x 0.4-0.8 cm, margin entire or toothed, apex broadly acute, outside and inside glabrous; corolla oblique in calyx, white, pink, lavender to purple, 2.5-4.0 cm long, tube broadly campanulate, 2-3.5 cm long, base broad, ventrally gibbous, ca. 1 cm wide, middle broadly ventricose, throat slightly contracted, 2-3.2 cm wide, outside pilose, inside glandular on upper surface, limb to 4 cm wide, lobes subequal, upper and lateral lobes spreading, basal lobes incurved, all broadly suborbicular, 1.0-1.2 x 1.0-1.8 cm, margin upper and lateral lobes entire, basal lobe toothed; stamens included, inserted at base of corolla tube; ovary apex broadly ovoid, 0.3-0.5 x 0.3-0.4 cm, apex pubescent, style 1.2-1.5 cm long, glandular, sparsely pilose, stigma stomatomorphic. Mature capsule green to brown, narrowly conic, 1-1.8 x 0.4-0.7 cm.


Guianas present, Southern America: Panamá (Panamá present), Trinidad present, south to Bolivia present
Panamasouth to Bolivia and Brazil, east to Trinidad and the Guianas; < 200 specimens studied, with only 10 in the Guianas (GU: 1; SU: 4; FG: 5).




The wild-collected Guianan specimens may have escaped from cultivation and become naturalized. The species has been in cultivation for over 270 years in tropical gardens and as pot-plants in temperate regions.