Sinningia Springtime Tuber Gallery

Sinningia tubers sprouting in the spring can be wonderfully evocative, even without flowers.

S. ramboi tuber

The tuber and shoots above are S. ramboi.  Its flowerbuds can already be seen at the top of the shoot in the middle.  The shoots and leaf veins are redder than they look in this picture.  See the tuber picture on the page for S. ramboi to get a better idea of the true color.

The tuber and shoots below belong to S. douglasii.  Only the crown of the tuber shows above the rim of the pot.

Douglasii tuber

Many civilizations of antiquity had cultural stories about resurrection in the spring.  The Egyptians had the legends of Osiris.  The classical Greek story of Persephone had her returning to the surface of the earth from the underworld in spring, bringing a rebirth of life and growth.  The Babylonians had the myths of Tammuz, reborn in spring.

Revisionists have cast doubt on the standard interpretation of the Tammuz stories as rebirth legends and explanations of spring.  Those revisionists were not farmers or gardeners.

Nobody who has waited for the rains to come or has seen the seeds of the new crop sprouting from the ground can doubt the emotional power of rebirth in the spring.  In the new growth from sinningia tubers, we get a distant echo of the leap of joy that must have accompanied the far-from-inevitable, far-from-predictable return of the season of life to people whose very existence depended on it.