Sinningia allagophylla

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

  1. Feature table
  2. External link
  3. Publication and etymology

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

I sowed seed in 2004 and the plant finally bloomed in 2010.  Unfortunately, it proved to be S. curtiflora, which I already had.  Six years to find out is was mislabeled is something of a disappointment, but live and learn.

Thanks to Alain Chautems, I now have a comparison table to distinguish the two species:

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

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.

allagophylla: stem

The picture to the left shows one of the seedlings that I thought was Sinningia allagophylla.  The red spots on the stem show that it is not.  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).

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  
Inflorescence Extended axis
Flower Red, tubular

Horticultural aspects



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").