Sinningia leopoldii

This fine plant of Sinningia leopoldii was exhibited by Bill Price at the Gesneriad Society convention in 2008.


Bill presents tubers well, also.  This typical "bagel" tuber (disk-shaped, with stems arising from depressed center) is very symmetrical.

Secret: Bill gets these tubers by turning them on a lathe.  Don't tell anybody.  (Okay, I made this up out of spite and envy.)

Seeds and Hybridizing

I used to have a dwarf plant of S. leopoldii.  The first year it bloomed, it had one flower, and I collected seed from it for the AGGS seed fund.  The next year it bloomed, I put pollen of Sinningia sp. "Black Hill" on it, and got the hybrid I named S. 'Distant Lights'.  The next year the leopoldii plant never came out of dormancy, and the tuber withered.

I now have another small plant, from Jon Dixon.  [Update: it died after a couple of years.]  Jon says that S. leopoldii shoots seem stunted or distorted when they first appear, but when they develop they lose this unhealthy look.

See a comparison between the shoots of S. leopoldii and S. calcaria.

As shown above, Bill Price can grow a beautiful plant of S. leopoldii, but mine are never particularly attractive: a ragged growth habit and few flowers.  I get better results from the S. 'Distant Lights' hybrid mentioned above.

Feature table for Sinningia leopoldii

Plant Description

Growth Determinate
Habit Upright stem(s)
Dormancy Stems completely deciduous.  Dormancy does not appear to be obligate, however.  In the winter of 2008-2009, my plant kept all its stems and bloomed from one of those year-old stems in June 2009.


Inflorescence terminal cluster
Flower Red or orange-red, a narrow tube about 4 cm long

Horticultural aspects

From seed 18 months to bloom, under my conditions
Hardiness The tuber survived near-freezing temperatures in my yard.
Recommended? Not by me.  Mine have never thrived, but I have seen handsome plants grown by others.


Hybrids with this species See listing.


Taxonomic group The douglasii group of the Dircaea clade.

External Link

Mauro Peixoto's Brazilian Plants site has a page about S. leopoldii.


(as Gesneria leopoldii) 1852.  Transferred to Sinningia by Chautems, 1990.