Sinningia cochlearis

  1. Leaf
  2. Feature table
  3. Publication and etymology

This picture, taken May 28, 2007, shows the flowerstalk on a plant grown by Jon Dixon.

Sinningia cochlearis is closely related to S. gigantifolia.

Because S. gigantifolia has a wider geographical range than S. cochlearis, and the range of S. cochlearis is contained within that of S. gigantifolia, Perret et al. conclude that S. cochlearis has evolved from within S. gigantifolia with specialization for a particular type of environment (open highlands rather than highland forest).

Sinningia cochlearis
Sinningia cochlearis


Most sinningia leaves have smooth edges or lightly indented ones, but S. cochlearis is unusual in having distinctly scalloped leaves, as in the picture to the right.

Note how one side of the leaf base overlaps the other side.  This slightly spiraled arrangement may be the source of the name of this species (see etymology below).

Sinningia cochlearis

In this picture you can see Jon Dixon's plant, exhibited in the 2004 San Francisco gesneriad show.  Note the "snail-shell" bases of the two leaves (curled in opposite directions).

A little secret here.  As in a few of Vermeer's paintings, you can see traces of removed items.  In this case, just to the right and above the top flower, are visible the remnants of a plant saucer photoshopped (mostly) out of the picture.  The plant was photographed on the show table with other plants nearby.

I don't photoshop plants themselves.  Plants are displayed on these pages as they actually were, warts and all.  But sometimes I remove distracting background elements.

Feature table for Sinningia cochlearis

Plant Description

Growth Indeterminate
Habit Stem more or less upright.
Leaves Green, scalloped, cordate
Dormancy Leaves fully deciduous.  Stems die back to one or two nodes above previous year's abscission point.


Inflorescence Flowers on extended axis
Season Blooms in summer
Flower Red, tubular

Horticultural aspects

Hardiness I have no data yet


Taxonomic group In a subgroup with S. gigantifolia within the Sinningia clade.


Hooker, 1840, as Gesneria cochlearis.  Chautems transferred it to Sinningia in 1990.

Etymology: Latin cochlea means "snail".

Presumably, the reference is to the way one side of the leaf base overlaps the other side.  See the picture above.