The two Sinningia Waechters

  1. The Differences
  2. Comparison table

Seeds distributed in 2002 under the name Sinningia sp. "Waechter" turned out to contain two different plant types.

One was the genuine sp. "Waechter", which was eventually identified as Sinningia polyantha.  This was the plant we saw in 1999, growing on a sandy bank a few dozen meters from the Atlantic Ocean.

The other was the type to which I gave the holding name Sinningia "Desafinado", until its actual status was determined.  It has now been published as S. ramboi.


The Differences

The picture at the right shows some of the differences.  The plant to the left is S. polyantha (the "real" sp. "Waechter"), while the plant to the right is S. ramboi.

Some differences are obvious:

  1. Whorled leaves vs. opposite leaves (that is, leaves in three vs. leaves in pairs)
  2. Pinkish flower color vs. magenta red
  3. Green stalks vs. red
  4. Hairy, plain-green leaves vs. wider eumorpha-type leaves
Polyantha vs ramboi: plants

Arenicola vs Desafinado: flowers

This picture shows the two inflorescences side-by-side (blooming at the end of May 2008).  The main thing to notice, apart from the differences in flower markings and color, is the difference in the flower clusters themselves.

Sinningia polyantha (on the left side of the picture) has all the flowers on a "platform", while Sinningia ramboi (on the right side of the picture) has well-defined peduncles.  That is, the flowers in Sinningia polyantha have pedicels (flowerstalks) which originate from (or extremely close to) the stem, while those of Sinningia ramboi have pedicels which originate from the ends of "family flowerstalks" (peduncles).

Because you have come to expect a table...

Here is a comparison of the two plants. Note that a much more complete table, comparing not only these two species but also S. nivalis and S. douglasii is presented in [Ferreira et al.].

Attribute Sinningia polyantha Sinningia ramboi
Leaf texture Tough, hairy, like S. insularis Lustrous, like S. eumorpha
Leaf arrangement All my flowering-size plants have leaves in whorls of three All my plants of S. "Desafinado" have leaves in pairs, never whorls of three.  The top leaf pair is sessile, unlike the others, which have well-defined petioles.
Stem and petiole color Green, or slightly red Dark red, extending up into leaf midrib
Flowering From a platform inflorescence From terminal peduncle
Peduncles No Yes
Nectaries Two, dorsal, fused Two, dorsal, separate
Tuber type Typical bagel Dome-top
Horticultural differences
Full sun? Yes: it would be exposed to it on beaches Leaves burn in full sun
Cold and wet? Tuber rotted; intolerant of overwatering Tuber and shoots unharmed at 26 F (-3 C)