Sinningia sp. "Ibitioca"

  1. The Good
  2. The Bad
  3. Horticulture
  4. In habitat
  5. Cold tolerance
  6. Comparison to S. aghensis (link)
  7. Hybridization
  8. Feature table

This new species has very handsome flowers, quite large for a sinningia, held well above the leaves for maximum exposure.  It takes a few years to get going, but a mature plant blooms well in a sunny window.



The Good

Another good quality I discovered when I took the plant to a local club meeting.  The peduncles swung and swayed with every turn of the car and every bump in the road, during a trip 35 miles each direction, but not one of the flowers fell off.  The pedicels appear to hold their flowers very firmly.  (At the meeting, I demonstrated this by shaking the plant.)

This picture shows Sinningia sp. "Ibitioca" in bloom in May 2006.

The Not So Good

This species (for me, at any rate) has the unfortunate tendency to go into dormancy and not revive.  In autumn 2009, my remaining plants of this species were all overwhelmed with mildew, and when I treated them with a mild fungicide, they went dormant.  None of them revived in 2010.

My main plant of Bill Price's Ibitioca hybrid, S. 'Altamont Cascade', did come back in 2010, but all the cutting tubers did not.

Therefore: get your horticulture instructions from somebody who has ten years of success with this species!

The next paragraph shows what worked for me, for several years.


Lots of light, lots of water!

In habitat

According to the article by Tsuh Yang Chen in The Gloxinian, vol. 55, No. 1 (first quarter 2005), Sinningia sp. "Ibitioca" was first found in 1993 near the town of Ibitioca in the interior of Rio de Janeiro province of Brazil.  Tsuh Yang Chen and Mario Peixoto found it again in 2001, growing in full sun in niches on the side of a steep cliff.


In my yard, Sinningia sp. "Ibitioca" was less tolerant of cold than most other large sinningia species.  One I wintered outdoors in a protected location did not come back in the spring.  When I checked the pot, I found that the tuber had turned to mush.  On the other hand, one I kept indoors [winter 2006-7] and did not cut back set buds in the spring on the previous year's growth. My guess is that somewhere around 40 F (4 C) is the minimum for this species.

This is another trait it shares with S. aghensis.

Compared to S. aghensis

See a comparison between the two species.



Dave Zaitlin crossed S. sp. "Ibitioca" with S. aghensis and obtained viable seed.  He generously gave me some seeds, and they germinated quite promptly. 

[August 2007] After a year, my three seedlings are still quite small, about two inches high and two inches across.  This is consistent with Dave's experience with this cross, and quite puzzling, since both parents are vigorous growers.  The leaves are very dark, almost black, like the seedling leaves of both parents.

[August 2010] Both Dave and I lost our plants a couple of years ago.  We do not have a clue what went wrong.

Bill Price has crossed S. sp. "Ibitioca" with S. eumorpha "Saltão" to get a nice hybrid, which may also have longevity problems (see above).

Feature table for Sinningia sp. "Ibitioca"

Plant Description

Growth Indeterminate
Habit Upright stems
Leaves Green
Dormancy Stems not necessarily deciduous


Inflorescence axillary cyme.  Base of the peduncle is green; top is dark red.
Season Blooms in early summer
Flower Purple, with yellow stripe deep in throat.  Purple streaks lengthwise on stripe.  The calyx is the same dark red as the peduncle top.

Horticultural aspects

Hardiness Can tolerate approx. 38-40 F (about 4 C), but not a freeze.  See discussion above.
Recommended? With reservations.  Large, glossy flowers are a big plus.  Still, there are longevity issues.  Not a compact grower, it should also be mentioned...


Taxonomic group Probably the aghensis group of the Corytholoma clade.
Nectaries Five, separate