Sinningia villosa

A new old species, first published in 1828 but rare or nonexistent in cultivation, recently reintroduced.

  1. Plant pictures
  2. Feature table
  3. External link
  4. Publication and etymology

Carolyn's Plant

This flower picture was taken by Carolyn Ripps of her own plant.

The hairs on the flower (not a coincidence, since the species name means hairy) can be clearly seen.

It is not totally evident from this picture, but the stems of this species are squarish in cross section.  These stems resemble those of the not closely related Sinningia barbata.

This picture is also by Carolyn, of her plant.  Note the dark red on top of the petioles and in the leaf midvein and radiating from the midvein on the underside of the leaf.

These features are also present on my plants.


Dave Zaitlin's Plant

At the 2019 Gesneriad Society convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dave Zaitlin (at the University of Kentucky) entered this well-grown mature specimen of Sinningia villosa. To the best of my knowledge, this was the first time this species had been exhibited in a gesneriad show.

This picture was taken by Dale Martens.

This photograph, also of Dave Zaitlin's plant by Dale Martens, shows the flower.

Note the purple spots on the back half of the corolla tube, which have a striking similarity to those on the yellow tube of the "Robson Lopes" variety of Sinningia richii, to which Sinningia villosa is not closely related.

This picture, excerpted from the same Dale Martens photograph as the one above, shows a flowerbud.  Note the hairs.

Also note the variation in the calyx lobes.  Most have pointed tips, but the one with its back to the camera has a rounded end.


The next three pictures are of my own plant, which has not yet bloomed.  The first two are from 2018, the third from 2019.

Feature table for Sinningia villosa

Plant Description

Growth Indeterminate
Habit Stems upright, more or less square in cross section.
Leaves Green, hairy, with red tint on reverse


Inflorescence Flowers borne in leaf axils.
Season Summer?
Flower Yellow, tubular, with scattered red or purple dots on corolla exterior.

Horticultural aspects

Cold tolerance No firm data yet, but a dormant plant (tuber) may survive 32 F (0 C) without damage.


Taxonomic group The speciosa group in the Sinningia clade.

External Link

See Mauro Peixoto's Brazilian Plants site for a page about S. villosa.


Lindley, 1828.

Etymology: Latin villosus [from villus, "shaggy hair"].  From same root as "velour".