Sinningia 'Jelly Roll'

  1. S. reitzii as parent
  2. Aging in sinningias
  3. Jelly Roll, the name
  4. Feature table

Sinningia 'Jelly Roll' is an inspiring example of how to overcome the lack of an official father.  Its mother was S. reitzii x leucotricha.   For a time, I supposed it was the product of a selfing, but there was so little S. leucotricha evident in the plant that I eventually decided it must be the result of hummingbird mischief, so the pollen parent is unknown.

The seed was sown in 1999.  At the time of the picture, the plant is 10 years old and in its glory years.  It has four stems, all loaded with flowers.

After several years of dithering, mainly because the flowers, while numerous, had no distinctive character of their own, I finally decided to name it (which I had to do before distributing it, in accordance with the Boggan Rule).

Sinningia reitzii as parent

The good qualities of this plant are mostly from its S. reitzii grandparent.  It was in part because of this plant that I wrote the hybridizing section of the S. reitzii page.  This hybrid holds its leaves better than S. reitzii and the flowers are slightly larger.  Otherwise, S. 'Jelly Roll' is a tribute to its reitzii ancestor.

Aging in Sinningias

Some sinningias greatly improve with age, and this plant is a good example.  Each year its stems get thicker and sturdier.  Each year it has more flowers.  It shows the benefit of patience, allowing a plant to reach the peak of maturity before deciding whether to keep it.

Not all sinningias are best when old.  Among my plants, at least, Sinningia guttata is best when young and rarely recaptures its early glory in later years.

Jelly Roll, the name

The name refers to Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton (1885-1941), one of the great pioneers and innovators of ragtime and jazz.  In addition to his musical contributions, the Library of Congress recordings from 1938 are a priceless historical record of American music.  Morton's style and inventions continue to inspire today's pianists and composers, including Butch Thompson and David Thomas Roberts.

That, and the color of the flowers reminded me of the filling of jelly doughnuts.

Feature table for Sinningia 'Jelly Roll'

Plant Description

Growth Indeterminate
Habit Stems upright.  Bottom leaves are retained throughout growing season.
Leaves Heart-shaped, dark green on top. Reverse has reddish tinge.
Dormancy Stems persistent even in winter, bases not deciduous even when stem is chopped


Inflorescence axillary cymes, several to many flowers per axil.
Flowering Midsummer through autumn
Flower Light red, tubular, 4 cm [1.5 inches] long, with flaring lobes, almost no markings.

Horticultural aspects

Hardiness Tubers have survived 26 F (-3 C) in my back yard.
Recommended? Yes.  Blooms for several months in summer and autumn.


Hybridizer Alan LaVergne
Fertility Appears to be setting seed, although I have not yet sown any [August 2009].


Taxonomic group Its seed parent is a cross between two species in the Dircaea clade.