Sinningia is a genus in the Gesneriaceae family that is mostly tuberous -- although some species are fibrous-rooted shrubs and some produce only rudimentary tubers. A few species are "stoloniferous," producing satellite tubers (e.g., S. tubiflora), and most species are lithophytes (growing on rocks) or epiphytes, rather than truly terrestrial. With over 70 species, the genus spans from Central America all the way south to Argentina; however, the largest concentration of species are found in eastern and southern Brazil, where they grow in both the humid Atlantic rainforest and the rocky savannah known as "campos rupestres." To this genus belongs the common florist "gloxinia" (S. speciosa), as well as some miniature species (S. pusilla, S. concinna and the newly discovered S. muscicola), and S. leucotricha, which is well sought after by growers of succulents (unfortunately, this latter plant is often grown erroneously as S. canescens, a different species). Many plants in the genus make attractive houseplants or garden subjects, and those from southern Brazil and Argentina specially have proven to be hardy to zone 7 (or even 6) in the U.S. In addition to attractive flowers, some species are grown for their beautiful pubescent haired leaves (S. leucotricha, S. hatschbachii, S. canescens, S. globulosa). Succulent growers also grow many species, particularly those with large exposed tubers (such as S. bulbosa, S. macrostachya, S. lineata). Flower color is mostly red, although some species have orange, yellowish, lavender-purple, green and white flowers (with or without spots). A few species also have fragrant flowers (in particular, S. tubiflora, and some clones of S. speciosa, S. lindleyi and S. guttata). (by Tsuh Yang Chen, updated June 2009)
More information on this genus as well as pictures can be found on the Gesneriad Reference Web
Sinningia was the topic of the week November 2003. Here is the Introduction by John Ingram and a follow-up post
Information about the species can be found on the Sinningia species page or click on the species in the table below. Pictures of hybrids can be found on the Sinningia hybrids wiki page.
Sinningia hybrids - Sinningia species