|Sinningia speciosa subsp. var.||Florist's gloxinia, Gloxinia|
|File:Flor de glocinia.JPG||
Sinningia speciosa, commonly known in the horticultural trade as Gloxinia, is a tuberous member of the flowering plant family Gesneriaceae. The common name has persisted since its original introduction to cultivation from Brazil in 1817 as Gloxinia speciosa. The name Florist's gloxinia is sometimes used to distinguish it from the rhizomatous species now included in the genus Gloxinia. The plants produce large, velvety, brightly colored flowers and are popular houseplants. Cultural requirements are similar to those of African Violets except that S. speciosa generally requires more light and often has a dormant period, when the tuber should be kept cool and dry until it resprouts.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Sinningia speciosa, Benth. & Hook. (Gloxinia speciosa, Lodd. Ligeria speciosa, Decne.). St. short or not evident: lvs. oblong, petiolate, obtuse or acutish, villous-hairy, convex on top, usually attenuate at base, crenate: peduncles, with fls., about the length of the lvs.: fls. large, tubular, showy, usually violet or purplish; calyx-lobes ovate-lanceolate and somewhat villous, longer than calyx-tube; corolla broadly campanulate. Brazil. Variable, giving rise to such forms as var. caulescens, Hanst. (Gloxinia caulescens, Lindl.), with thick elongated st. and larger lvs.
Var. macrophylla, Hanst. (Gloxinia speciosa var. macrophylla, Hook.), has large white-nerved lvs. Var. albiflora, Hanst. (Gloxinia speciosa var. albiflora, Hook.). White-fld. Var. rubra, Hanst. (Gloxinia rubra, Paxt.). Fls. beautiful red. From this species, and perhaps from hybrid offspring, have descended the florists' gloxinias. CH
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Gloxinia (named for P. B. Gloxin, of Strassburg, who wrote in 1785). Gesrwriaceae. The genus Gloxinia was founded by L'Heritier in 1785 upon G. maculata of Brazil. Early in last century a related Brazilian plant was introduced, and it attracted much attention: this plant was named Gloxinia speciosa by Loddiges in his Botanical Cabinet in 1817, and it was there figured. In the same year it was figured by Ker in the Botanical Register, and also by Sims in- the Botanical Magazine. Sims wrote that the plant was "already to be found in most of the large collections about town [London]." These writers refer the plant to the Linnaean class Didynamia, but Ker also suggests that it may belong to the Campanulaceae. This Gloxinia speciosa was the forerunner and leading parent of the garden gloxinias, but it turns out that the plant really belongs to Nees' genus Sinningia, founded in 1825 on a Brazilian plant which he named S. helleri; but the rules of nomenclature make the tenable name to be Sinningia speciosa, Benth. & Hook. (See Sinningia.) All the garden gloxinias are therefore sinningias, but to gardeners they will ever be known as gloxinias; therefore, the evolution of them may be traced here.
Gloxinia has no tubers: Sinningia has a tuberous rhizome. Gloxinia has a ring-like or annual disk about the ovary: Sinningia has 5 distinct glands. The sinningias are either stemless or st.-bearing, with a trumpet-shape or bell-shape 5-lobcd and more or less 2-lipped corolla, a 5-angled or 5-winged calyx, 4 stamens attached to the base of the corolla, and with anthers cohering at the tips in pairs, and a single style with a concave or 2-lobed stigma. The garden gloxinias belong to the subgenus Ligeria (subgenus of Sinningia), which has a short st. or trunk, and a broad-limbed bell-shape fl. Gloxinia has perhaps a half-dozen species from Mex. to Brazil and Peru; Sinningia has about 20 species, in Brazil.
The true gloxinias are not florists' flowers, and they are little known in cultivation. They are apparently not in the American trade. The old G. maculala is figured in the Garden 39:801 (p. 364), and it is probably to be found in choice collections in the Old World. It produces knotty rootstocks, which, as well as the leaves, may be used for propagation. It is also figured in B.M. 1191. G. glabrala, Zucc., from Mexico, is the G. glabra, Hort., Achimenes gloxiniaeflora, Forkel, and Plectopoma gloxiniflorum, Hanst. It is a stemmy plant, bearing white flowers with yellow-spotted throat; B.M. 4430, as G. fimbriata, Hook. Plectopoma is now referred to Achimenes, and the plant then takes the name Achimenes glabrala, Fritsch. It appears not to be in the trade. Other related genera are Diastema, Dicyrta and Isoloma.
The garden gloxinias (genus Sinningia) are nearly stemless plants, producing several or many very showy bell-like flowers, each on a long stem. G. (Sinningia} speciosa originally had drooping flowers, but the result of continued breeding has produced a race with flowers nearly or quite erect (Figs. 1655, 1656). The deep bell of the gloxinia is very rich and beautiful, and the erect position is a decided gain. The flowers also have been increased in size and number, and varied in shape and markings; the leaves also have become marked with gray or white. The color of the original Gloxinia (Sinningia) speciosa was a nearly uniform purple. The modern races have colors in white, red, purple and all intermediate shades, some are blotched, and others are fine- spotted or sprinkled with darker shades. It is probable that the larger part of the evolution in the common greenhouse gloxinia is a direct development from the old G. speciosa, but hybridity may have played a part. One of the earliest recorded series of hybrids (1844) was with Sinningia guttata, which is a plant with an upright stem and bearing rather small spotted flowers in the axils of the leaves. (B. R. 1112.) The issue of this cross showed little effect of the S. guttala, except a distinct branching habit in some of the plants (B.R. 30:48). It is possible, however, that S. guttala has had something to do with the evolution of the spots on the present-day flower, although the original G. speciosa was striped and blotched in the throat. The student who wishes to trace some of the older forms of garden gloxinias may look up the following portraits: B.M. 1937, speciosa itself; B.M. 3206, var. albiflora; B.M. 3934, var. macrophylla variegata; B.M. 3943, var. menziesii; F.S. 3:220, teichleri (hybrid); F.S. 3:268; F.S. 4:311, Fyfiana (hybrid); F.S. 6:610; F.S. 10:1002; F.S. 14:1434-6; F.S. 16:1699 and 1705; F.S. 17:1768, 1772-6; F.S. 18:1846, 1878, 1885, 1918, 1919; F.S. 19:1955, double forms; F.S. 21:2164; F.S. 22:2324. I.H. 42:39, 41. Gt. 47, p. 79; Gt. 48, p. 80. Gn. 15M62; 43:392; 52, p. 268. R.H. 1846:301, Teuchlerii; R.H. 1848:201, Fyfiana; 1877:70, variabilis; R.H. 1883, p. 248. For florists' plants, see A.F. 11:7; A.G. 14:49; Gng. 6:83. There are many Latin-made names of garden gloxinias, but the plants are only forms of the G. speciosa type. One of the trade entries is G. crassifolia, a name applied to some of the best and largest-growing strains.
There are double forms of gloxinia, in which an outer but shorter corolla is formed. The forms are more curious than useful. L.H.B.
Cultivation of gloxinia.
Few flowers can surpass the large tubular blooms of gloxinia for richness and variety of coloring. The colors range through all the shades of blues and purples, pinks and crimsons, while some are pure white, and others again white with tinted edges; still others have the colors dotted on the lighter ground - color. The foliage also of gloxinias is very beautiful, being of a rich soft velvety texture. Gloxinias make a gorgeous display, therefore, when in flower and are especially valuable for the decoration of conservatories during the summer and early fall months.
Gloxinias arc native of tropical America and therefore require a warm greenhouse or tropical temperature in the growing season. When first introduced into cultivation, and even for many years after, the flowers of gloxinias were all nodding, that is they hung down instead of standing upright; no one now growls the nodding-flowered kinds, the upright-flowered being so much more attractive.
Though they may be grown so as to flower at almost any season of the year, yet they are naturally summer- flowering plants, and do best when treated as such. They are propagated by seeds, or by cuttings made of leaves or stems. Seeds are preferable, unless one wishes to increase some very choice colored variety, when it is best to propagate by leaf-cuttings, using partly matured medium-sized leaves with a small portion of leaf-stalk attached (Fig. 1176, p. 929). These may be inserted in an ordinary propagating-bed, where if kept rather on the dry side, they will soon root and form tubers, when they may be potted and grown on. Seeds should be sown in a warm temperature early in February, in pans or shallow boxes containing a finely sifted mixture of peat, leaf-mold and silver sand in about equal proportions. The seedlings will begin to appear in about ten days, when great care must be exercised in watering, or they will "damp-off." In fact, success with these plants throughout the year depends largely upon the care exercised in watering. Even in their most active growth the water always should be given from the spout of a watering-ran, taking care not to wet the leaves, though they like a warm, humid atmosphere during their growing season. As soon as the seedlings can be conveniently handled, they should be potted singly into thumb-pots and grown on rapidly, using in subsequent shifts a mixture of two parts leaf-mold, one part good fibrous loam and one part peat. The plants must be well shaded from sunlight and placed in a position free from draughts. The seedlings should begin to flower by the middle of August, when they should be given an abundance of air. After flowering, the leaves will begin to mature, when water should be gradually withheld. As soon as the leaves have all ripened off, the pots should be stored away in some convenient place for the winter, in a temperature of about 45°, giving just sufficient water to keep the tubers from shriveling. Toward the middle of February the tubers will show signs of starting into growth. A batch should be started at this tune, choosing the tubers which appear most active, and the remainder should be held back for another month; this will give a much longer period of blossoming. The tubers should have all the old soil shaken off and be potted again in clean well-drained pots, using sizes just large enough to accommodate the tubers, the compost being the same mixture as before recommended. They should be given but little water until active root-growth commences. As soon as the pots are filled with roots, they should be shifted on at once into the pots they are intended to flower in, as frequent shifts would more or less damage their leaves, which have a tendency to cling round the sides of the pots. The first batch should come into flower in June.
When carefully grown, gloxinias are particularly free from insect pests or fungous diseases, and the same tubers can be grown for several years.
Pests and diseases