Sinningia rupicola

  1. Better with age
  2. Flowerbuds (Better With Youth)
  3. Feature table
  4. External links
  5. Publication and etymology

Sinningia rupicola is one of the douglasii-type species, with dark leaves and streaked flowers.  Mauro's web site (see link below) states that S. rupicola grows in full sun and rocky soil.

My first plant only had a couple of anemic flowers before it died.  When I got another, I followed Mauro's advice and gave it lots of sun.  This did the trick as far as bloom, but it wilted frequently until I started watering it just about every day.

The leafback is the most striking feature, both for its color and for its sculpturing.  Some sinningias with red leafbacks lose the coloring in bright light, but not this species.



Better With Age

The wise elder statesman of gesneriad judging, Ben Paternoster, has expressed the opinion that one should always be growing new things.  Once one has nurtured a plant for a while, one should move on to new challenges.

This plant shows why I respectfully disagree.  Sinningia rupicola is one of those species which steadily improves with age.  (I do too, but that's only because I had such a lousy starting position.)

The older it gets, S. rupicola (like several other sinningia species) develops more stems and more flowers every year.  The tuber gets larger and stores more energy, to fuel more development.


Better With Youth

This species is impressive in the spring.  Sinningia rupicola has dramatic dark leaves with deep maroon leafbacks.  Flowering stems hold their buds above the leaves.

Feature table for Sinningia rupicola

Plant Description

Growth indeterminate
Habit Stem(s) upright
Leaves Dark green
Dormancy Stems deciduous, but stubs remain on tuber


Inflorescence Terminal peduncle
Season Blooms in summer
Flower Red, streaked

Horticultural aspects

From seed Three years to bloom, under my conditions
Light Mine needs sunshine to bloom, but wilts easily, so it needs lots of water too.
Hardiness Survived 30F (-1C) in my yard
Recommended? Yes, but only for the patient.  It takes a few years to develop multiple stems.


Hybrids with this species See listing.


Taxonomic group The douglasii group of the Dircaea clade.

External Links


As Gesnera rupicola by Martius, in 1829.
As Sinningia rupicola by Wiehler, in 1978.

Etymology: From Latin rupi- ("cliff", nom. sing. rupes) + -cola ("resident on").