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Products > Sinningia cardinalis
Sinningia cardinalis - Cardinal Flower

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Gesneriaceae (Gesnerias)
Origin: South America
Flower Color: Red
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 30-32 F
Sinningia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower) An easy to grow Gesneriad with a large round basal caudex and large velvety bright-green leaves that sprout from it in spring and grown to about 12 inches tall topped with brilliant orange-red hooded flowers that can appear multiple times from late winter to mid-summer. Plant in a pot or protected spot that has well-draining soil in light shade or morning sun and water regularly when in leaf but avoid moisture during winter dormancy and protect from any frost. Can work in shade in Southern California so long as it is in a protective spot like under an eave, otherwise grow it in a pot and move it to protect from both winter moisture and cold. This plant comes from Brazil and Argentina and is one of the Rechsteineria group of Sinningias that has long been cultivated in greenhouses and used in hybridization. The plant was first described as Gesneria cardinalis in 1850 by the German botanist Carl Friedrich Phillip von Martius (1794-1868) and transferred to Sinningia by Harold Emery Moore in 1973. The name for the genus honors Wilhelm Sinning (1792-1874), a gardener of the University of Bonn Botanic Garden. The specific epithet is used to mean red though comes from the Latin words meaning "very important" or "essential" from 'cardo' ("hinge" or "turning point") which is where the name for the Roman Catholic Church Cardinal Bishops come from and it is their wearing of the red hat and robe that transfers the meaning of color to the name. This plant is also commonly called Gloxinia and Helmet Flower.  The information on this page is based on our research that has been conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in the nursery, in the nursery's garden, and in other gardens where it has been observed. We also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing  Sinningia cardinalis.