Sinningia sp. "Itaguassu"

  1. Flower
  2. Habit
  3. Source
  4. Seedlings
  5. Feature table
  6. External link
  7. Publication

I sowed seed of this species in 2011 and it first bloomed in 2018.  No doubt my horticulture was partly to blame, but this plant (like its relatives Sinningia aghensis and Sinningia bragae) is probably just slow to bloom.



Like the two species mentioned above, Sinningia sp. "Itaguassu" is tall with flowers borne at the end of a long peduncle, but unlike them, it has a narrower corolla tube and the flower is not purple.  The corolla is orange-red on the lobes and lightly maroon on the outside, but greenish-yellow on the inside.

The interior colors are pastel, which is highly unusual in Sinningia.  It is not obvious what the pollinator is.

The inflorescence is the standard gesneriad pair-flowered cyme, with the flowers bunched at the end on short pedicels



The plant is tall but not as tall as S. aghensis.  The leaves are very dark, almost black, on top, and maroon underneath. Both sides of the leaf are intensely hairy.  The hairs dramatize the prominent veins on the reverse.


Location, Pronunciation, and Etymology

Itaguassu is an English-spelling rendering of the Brazilian placename Itaguaçu.  According to the English-language Wikipedia stub page, it is a municipality in the state of Espírito Santo, along the Atlantic coast.

More information is available on the Portuguese-language Wikipedia page for Itaguaçu.  This has a map showing the location, which is in the interior of the state, close to the border with Minas Gerais state.

Based on the Brazilian Portuguese spelling, stress should fall on the final syllable: Ee-ta-gwa-SUE.  According to the Wikipedia entry, the name derives from the Tupí language: itá (rock) + guassú (big).

Sinningia sp. "Itaguassu"


The seedlings bear a strong resemblance to those of S. aghensis.  Compare that picture to this one.

This picture was taken 16 March 2011.  Older seedlings are shown below.

Sinningia sp. "Itaguassu"

A seedling of this species grows quite slowly at first.  This appears to be a result of the plant's putting most of its effort into growing its tuber.

This picture shows the intense red leafbacks of the seedling.  It also shows the tuber, which is quite large for the size of the plant.  My guess is that 90% of the mass of this plant is in the tuber.

The early growth of this species and the dark coloration on the upper leaf surface strongly resemble the corresponding characteristics of Sinningia aghensis.

Mauro's site describes the degree of difficulty of this plant as "medium".  Since this is the same degree of difficulty he assigns to the doomed Sinningia canastrensis, one fears the worst.

Sinningia sp. "Itaguassu"

This picture was taken on 20 September 2011.  The plant is in a 3.5-inch pot.

The resemblance to Sinningia aghensis is very striking at this stage.

Sinningia sp. "Itaguassu"

This picture shows a different seedling.  It was also taken on 20 September 2011.  The plant is in a 2.5-inch pot.

This plant has an elongated wiry stem which eventually bears large dark leaves.  At the time of the picture, leaf length was about 8 cm [3 inches].

Feature table for Sinningia sp. "Itaguassu"

Plant Description

Growth Indeterminate.
Habit When juvenile, low herb with compressed stems.  When older, tall plant with elongated stems.
Leaves Very dark green when young.  Backs maroon with heavily patterned venation when older.
Dormancy Plant has a tuber.


Inflorescence Tall axillary cyme.
Season Perhaps winter.
Flower Fairly open tube with flaring lobes.  The flower hangs downward at about a 45-degree angle.

Horticultural aspects

Hardiness I have no data yet.  If this species is truly close to S. aghensis and S. bragae, it is probably not tolerant of freezing temperatures.
Culture Appears to appreciate high humidity and/or abundant water.  Seedlings grow very slowly.


Taxonomic group Probably in the aghensis group of the Corytholoma clade.

External link

Mauro Peixoto's Brazil Plants web site has a page on this plant.


This species has not yet been published.