Sinningia guttata

Sinningia guttata is an especially desirable species because of its dramatically spotted flowers.  Young plants often have the best form, so restarting fairly often from seeds or cuttings is recommended.

Sinningia guttata flower
  1. Flowers bending toward the light
  2. Feature table
  3. Publication and etymology

Sinningia guttata flowers are distinctive for their white flowers spotted with purple, which are sometimes slightly fragrant.  There is a narrow yellow stripe down the center of the corolla tube.

It's showy, usually (but not always) easy to grow, and blooms for several months.  It also looks nice when it isn't in bloom.  What's not to like?

guttata: flowers


The flowers bend toward the light, so they will often all be facing the same direction, as can be seen in the picture on the right.  The calyx is unusual for a sinningia too, being long, green, and leaflike, a feature this plant shares with S. lindleyi.  The calyx is much larger than the flowerbud in its early stages, and completely surrounds it.  The leaves are shiny green on top, and sometimes have a reddish flush on the undersides.

guttata: tuber


Sinningia guttata tubers sprout from the top, like normal sinningias, but they can also sprout from other parts of the tuber.

guttata: foliage

Attractive foliage covers a plant of Sinningia guttata after a winter spent outdoors in the chill of the Sinningia farm.  The tuber survived 27 F [-2.5 C].

This picture was taken in May 2013.  Pictures of two plants on the same day in 2007 show the head start that indoor plants get.  The healthy foliage we see here gives hope that the outdoor plant will catch up and eventually out-perform a more pampered sibling.

Feature table for Sinningia guttata

Plant Description

Growth Indeterminate
Habit Stems upright
Leaves Plain green, shiny
Dormancy Stems deciduous, but stubs remain on tuber.  Dormancy is facultative.  A pair of pictures shows the difference between a plant which went dormant and one that didn't.


Inflorescence Flowers borne in leaf axils.
Season Blooms in summer
Flower White, funnelform, spotted purple.  Often fragrant.  See a comparison with other sinningia flowers.
Calyx Calyx is about half the length of the corolla when the flower is open, and the lobes are joined for almost the entire length of the calyx.  Calyx, which is green and leaf-like, is keeled at the lobe boundaries, so that calyx looks like a tube with with 5 ribs.  Pedicel is short (3-5 mm), so that flower is almost sessile.

Horticultural aspects

From seed Six months to bloom!
Hardiness Has survived 30F (-1C) in my yard
Recommended? Absolutely!.  The spotted flowers are wonderful!  Okay, it isn't as easy to grow as many species, but is still worth the challenge.


Hybrids with this species See listing.


Taxonomic group The speciosa group in the Sinningia clade.


Sinningia guttata was first published in 1827 by John Lindley (1799-1865).

Etymology: Latin guttata ("spotted"), from gutta ("droplet"), which is the source of the English word "gutter" (channel for raindrops).

Two Sinningia guttata flowers