Sinningia eumorpha

Sinningia eumorpha

  1. Saltão variety
  2. White flowers
  3. Flower buds
  4. Hybridization
  5. Tuber
  6. Feature table
  7. Publication and etymology

Sinningia eumorpha has flowers with a yellow stripe down the center of the tube.  There are purple markings in the yellow stripe;  The corolla itself is either white (as here) or lavender.  The white seems more attractive to me.

Unfortunately, this particular plant is no longer alive.

Sinningia eumorpha is desirable for its campanulate (bell-shaped) flower with a relatively open corolla, making the flower appear larger. This desirable trait is passed along to its hybrids.

The flower shape is associated with a shift away from hummingbird pollination (narrow tubes) to bee pollination (more open tubes).  The same factor accounts for the shift in color from red to white and lavender. I have seen a hummingbird hover in front of a flower of this species, knowing it was a flower and must have food but unable to figure out how to get at it, ultimately flying away without trying to feed.

saltao flower

Sinningia eumorpha 'Saltão'

The variety 'Saltão' has large flowers, with lavender and yellow in the tube.

saltao plant

This plant was grown from a seedling given to me by Hung Nguyen of Santa Rosa, California.

This photograph was taken at the beginning of September, 2015.

damaged saltao flower

Unfortunately, there is some creature in my yard which doesn't believe in doing things the proper way.  Instead it drills through the base of the flower to get at the nector.  This is not uncommon with tubular flowers like (for instance) Sinningia reitzii, but it is rare in flowers with wide corollas.  Probably it happens when the flower is still an unopened bud.

This photograph was taken in August 2015.


A Whiter Shade of Lavender

This plant of Sinningia eumorpha has flowers that are almost white.  They are a little smaller than those of the 'Saltão' variety.  Hot weather seems to bring out the lavender tinge and faint striping on the base of the corolla tube.

This photograph was taken in October 2020.


Flower Buds

The flowerbuds of Sinningia eumorpha curl beneath the axil from which they emerge.  This makes for a pleasing effect, even before the flowers open.

This photograph was taken in July 2016.


Sinningia eumorpha has been used a lot in hybridization, and was one of the main parents of the xGloxinera hybrids of 50 years ago.  It brings a lot of good qualities to hybrids, such as compactness, good leaf texture, and quickness to bloom from seed.  This species usually has only one flower per axil, so increasing the flower count by appropriate choice of breeding partner is one of the goals when hybridizing with it.

At the right is the flower of S. eumorpha x (eumorpha x piresiana).  The photograph is by Brad Walker of his own plant.  Even though S. piresiana is only 1/4 of this plant, its influence comes through very clearly, in the spotting on the outside of the corolla tube.  The eumorpha contribution is in the shape of the corolla and in the throat yellow.

Bill Price crossed the variety S. eumorpha 'Saltão' with Sinningia bragae (then known as sp. "Ibitioca") to get a nice hybrid.

Eu x EuPi
eumorpha x rupicola

This photograph, by Brad Walker of his own plant, shows the flower of S. eumorpha x rupicola.  To the best of my knowledge, this is the first rupicola hybrid, but the best of my knowledge is usually not good enough.

You will write in to correct me, won't you?

eumorpha x striata

This is Michael Kartuz's hybrid of Sinningia eumorpha x striata.  The Sinningia striata parent is rather recumbent under my conditions.  This hybrid inherits a bit of that, but the flowers are very attractive.

There are many more hybrids of Sinningia eumorpha than are mentioned on this page.  To see links to several others (as I incorporate them), click here.


See three views of a S. eumorpha tuber.

Feature table for Sinningia eumorpha

Plant Description

Growth Indeterminate
Habit Stem(s) upright
Leaves Green, some with red or red-tinged reverse
Dormancy Stems fully deciduous.  Dormancy appears to be obligate.


Season Blooms in summer
Flower White or lavender, campanulate, usually one per axil
Inflorescence Axillary cyme, usually one flower

Horticultural aspects

From seed 19 months to bloom, under my conditions.  You can almost certainly do better, since S. eumorpha bequeaths rapid maturation to its hybrid progeny.
Hardiness Has survived 28F (-2C) in my yard
Recommended? Yes, with reservations.  The Saltão form is very nice.  I have not had a lot of luck keeping older varieties of this species alive for more than a few years.  On the other hand, they have nice foliage, and interesting flowers (especially if you like a lavender/yellow color combination).  In addition, this species is a superb parent for hybridizing.


Hybrids with this species See listing.


Taxonomic group The eumorpha group of the Dircaea clade.


H. E. Moore, 1954.

Etymology: eu- ("good") + -morph ("form, shape").