Sinningia-clade species hybridization chart

The following table shows the primary hybrids (species x species) between those species in the Sinningia clade most frequently used in hybridizing.  This is not likely to be a complete list, but it should provide some guidance about what things have already been done.  Notes for each species provide additional information about secondary crosses and other potentially useful information.

It is very likely that not all primary crosses between species in the Sinningia clade should produce fertile hybrids.  Some certainly are, but the species do not seem to be as closely related to one another as those in the Dircaea clade (compare its crossing table).

For example, the hybrid S. 'Amizade' (Sinningia kautskyi x hirsuta) might have been expected to be fertile, but this does not seem to be true.

Judging by the experiments of Peter Shalit and Dave Zaitlin, Sinningia speciosa, S. guttata, and S. lindleyi form fertile hybrids with each other and with each other's hybrids, through several generations.

Likewise, Hung Nguyen crossed S. guttata and S. helleri, obtaining a fertile hybrid.  We expect that S. helleri should cross with other species in this clade as well.

Key to the table:

Ffertile hybrid
Ssterile hybrid
Xhybrid of unknown fertility
?Attempted or recommended cross

Sinningia-clade Crossing Table

Hover mouse pointer over abbreviation in top or bottom line to see species name.

Species Abbr Notes gi gu he hs kt ld ss pt vb vl
S. gigantifolia gi - = - - - - - X - - -
S. guttata gu - - = F - - F F - ? -
S. helleri he - - F = - - - - - - -
S. hirsuta hs - - - - = S - - - ? -
S. kautskyi kt N - - - S = - - - - -
S. lindleyi ld - - F - - - = ? - ? -
S. speciosa ss - X F - - - ? = - - -
Paliavana tenuiflora pt N - - - - - - - = - X
Vanhouttea brueggeri vb - - ? - ? - ? - - = -
Vanhouttea lanata vl - - - - - - - - X - =
Species Abbr Notes gi gu he hs kt ld ss pt vb vl

Notes on primary hybrids

The cross Sinningia guttata x lindleyi was done by Peter Shalit.  Peter reports that the hybrid is fertile, and he has selfed it, crossed it back to both parents, and crossed it with S. guttata x speciosa 'Carangola'.  See pictures.

The cross Sinningia guttata x speciosa 'Carangola' was done by Peter Shalit.  Peter reports that the hybrid is fertile, and he has both selfed it and crossed it to S. guttata x lindleyi.  Dave Zaitlin crossed this F1 to S. speciosa.

Dave Zaitlin has been doing a lot of work on S. guttata and S. speciosa as well.  It is possible that the spotted "florist gloxinia" clones owe some of their decoration to an ancestral S. guttata.

The cross Sinningia gigantifolia x speciosa was done in the mid-19th century. At the time, it was named Gesneria donkelaariana. A print can be seen on the Gesneriad Reference Web here.

The cross Sinningia hirsuta x kautskyi was done by both Mauro Peixoto and Dave Zaitlin.  They agreed on the name 'Amizade' ("friendship" in Portuguese) for the hybrid.  They both report that they have been unable to get seed from it, so it is probably sterile.  This hybrid is reputed to be easier to grow than either of its parents.

I tried the cross Vanhouttea brueggeri x Sinningia hirsuta a few years ago.  I got one seedling, which turned out to be V. brueggeri.

I tried the cross Vanhouttea brueggeri x Sinningia guttata in 2008 and again in 2021.  Neither time did I get any seed.

I tried the cross Vanhouttea brueggeri x Sinningia lindleyi in 2008.  I did not get any seed.

The cross Sinningia lindleyi x speciosa has probably been tried and accomplished, but I don't know about the results.  Peter Shalit's results with three-species crosses (see above) strongly suggest that this cross should be fertile.

The cross Sinningia helleri x guttata was made in 2015-2016 by Hung Nguyen.  He also obtained plants by setting seed on the hybrid, proving that it is fertile.

Jon Lindstrom did the cross Paliavana tenuiflora x Vanhouttea lanata, and obtained a plant with "reddish purple" flowers.  The picture in the 2011 2Q issue of Gesneriads shows trumpet-shaped flowers with both solid dark lines and dotted lines, and some free-standing dots.  Since this was apparently the first cross between Vanhouttea and Paliavana, Jon gave it the hybrid genus name of xVanvana.  In reference to the intriguing mixture of dots and lines on the flower, he named the cross xVanvana 'Harlequinade'.  It is probably best suited to greenhouse culture, as it presumably has its parents' aversion to subfreezing temperatures, and since it blooms in autumn...

Additional hybridization notes

Sinningia kautskyi

Dave Zaitlin crossed S. kautskyi with S. schiffneri and named the resulting plant S. 'Carnaval'.

Paliavana tenuiflora

Paliavana tenuiflora has been crossed with a couple of species outside the Sinningia clade, resulting in plants which are no doubt sterile.  The same is true of P. prasinata.