Sinningia 'Invasion Force' (Pink Hardy Gloxinia) - This tuberous perennial hybrid of two South American species forms a spreading mound of soft rounded gray-green leaves. These leaves rise up from potato-like tubers to about 1 foot tall and in late spring to early summer are produced the 1 to 2 foot tall unbranched slightly arching inflorescences topped by pendulous tubular pink flowers with flared petal tips. These flowers are lightly fragrant and attractive to hummingbirds.
Plant in full sun (where it blooms best) to light shade in just about any soil or in a pot where its spreading nature can be controlled and irrigate regularly to sparingly and is best if on the dry side in winter when semi-deciduous. It is drought tolerant even when in active growth in a container. This plant is tolerant to cold temperatures possibly as low as 5° F - the tubers can be exposed to be shown off in a pot but then it is more sensitive to damage from cold temperatures. One parent of this hybrid, Sinningia tubiflora reportedly can handle salt spray near the beach.
Sinningia 'Invasion Force' is the result of crossing the white flowering gray foliaged Sinningia tubiflora, which we also grow, with Sinningia sellovii, which has rough textured larger green leaves and dusky red flowers. The genus was named for Wilhelm Sinning (1792-1874) a gardener and botanist at the University of Bonn Botanical Garden. We received this plant in 2009 from John Ingram of Floral Architecture who told us that this hybrid was grown from seed received from the Gesneriad society and he called it 'Invasion Force' because of its vigor, noting that it filled a 4 foot planter box within 2 years.
We have grown this fascinating and attractive plant since 2013. We also continue to grow Sinningia tubiflora, another darker pink hybrid called Sinningia 'Lovely' and a white and yellow hybrid called Sinningia 'Butter and Cream'.
Information about Sinningia 'Invasion Force' displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.