Sinningia allagophylla

Sinningia allagophylla, one of the "meadow" species, has small red flowers on tall stalks.

  1. Comparison to S. curtiflora
  2. This species on the cover
  3. Feature table
  4. External link
  5. Publication and etymology

This is one of the tall, sun-loving species.  It has small, red, tubular flowers like those of Sinningia curtiflora.

The sharp-eyed reader will notice that the flowers to the left are not red.  This variety of the species has "yellow" flowers.  The yellow may well be the absence of red rather than a genuine yellow pigment.

That is, this may be a variety which, due to a mutation, can't make the red pigment.  What we're seeing is the "background" tint, visible when the red pigment is absent.


The flowers have almost no pedicel, so they are practically "sessile", that is, stalkless.

The absence of red extends to the stem as well.

The flowers are tightly clustered on the stem.  This would normally be called a raceme, with the flowering sequence being bottom to top.  One can also regard this as a stem full of one-flowered cymes, with each flower situated in the axil of a rudimentary leaf.

A more detailed explanation of the kinds of "inflorescences" (flower clusters) found in Sinningia and the gesneriad family in general can be found here.

Like its neighbor Sinningia curtiflora, it does not have a ton of flowers open at once, but rather a few flowers at any given time over a long blooming season.

This plant is two years old, in its first year of bloom.  The stem was initially upright, but by the time this picture was taken, gravity had prevailed, leading to a lopsided shape.

In future years, the plant should have more than one stem, the way S. curtiflora does.

Developing fruits.


Comparison between S. allagophylla and S. curtiflora.

Thanks to Alain Chautems, I have a comparison table to distinguish this species from S. curtiflora:

Trait S. allagophylla S. curtiflora
Plant height 15-60 cm 50-150 cm
Stem color Green to reddish, without red streaks Green, with reddish streaks
Petiole length 1-5 mm 8-30 mm
Calyx lobe length 6-8 mm 3-5 mm
Corolla length 9-12 mm 7-9 mm

allagophylla: stem

The picture to the left shows a seedling of Sinningia curtiflora.  Note the red spots on the stem, which show that it is not Sinningia allagophylla.  These streaks are a very convenient diagnostic feature, since one does not have to wait years for the plant to bloom before getting a clue about its identity.

Also note the petioles, which are definitely longer than the 1 mm given for Sinningia allagophylla in the above table.

These red markings are found on the stems of other species too, most notably Sinningia lineata.  Since S. lineata and S. curtiflora are not closely related, being in different subdivisions ("clades") of the genus, these stem markings do not appear to have taxonomic meaning, but it certainly is interesting that they appear in distinct branches of Sinningia, but not in (for instance) Nematanthus (as far as I know).


S. allagophylla on the cover

The first-quarter 2013 issue of Gesneriads, the magazine of the Gesneriad Society, has a very nice photograph of this species on the cover.  Taken by Dave Zaitlin, it shows a plant in the wild, at Pico do Ipateva in southern Brazil.  Among other things, the plant has the reddish stem that distinguishes it from Sinningia curtiflora.

Feature table for Sinningia allagophylla

Plant Description

Growth Indeterminate
Habit Upright stems
Leaves Ordinary corytholoma-type, usually opposite, occasionally whorled
Dormancy Stems fully deciduous


Flowering season Late summer through autumn
Inflorescence Extended axis
Flower Red (normally), tubular

Horticultural aspects

Hardiness Has survived (while dormant) 30 F [-1 C]


Taxonomic group The core group of the Corytholoma clade.

External Link

Sinningia tribracteata (see the page on Mauro Peixoto's web site) may be a synonym of S. allagophylla.


Sinningia allagophylla was first published (as a Gesneria) in 1829 by Carl Friedrich Phillip von Martius (1794-1868).  It was later the type species of Rechsteineria (1848).  Hans Wiehler transferred it to Sinningia in 1975.

Etymology: allago- ("different" ?) + -phyll ("leaf").