Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Sinningia speciosa (Lodd.) Hiern

Frost-tender tuberous perennial with rosettes of scalloped dark green leaves, flushed red beneath, and solitary or clustered, nodding, tubular, bell-shaped purplish flowers in summer.  To 30cm.  A parent of most of the modern gloxinias, it was originally called Gloxinia speciosa by the English nurseryman Conrad Loddiges and modern cultivars occur in a large range of colours.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘This most splendid subject has lately been introduced from South America, a country richly abounding in the most beautiful productions, which unhappily have been until now mostly shut out of the civilised world.’  [LBC no.28/1817].  ‘This very valuable acquisition to our stoves, is a native of Brazil, of late introduction, but already to be found in most of the large collections about town. […] It does not appear to be very tender, and, perhaps, may hereafter be found to do in the greenhouse.’  [BM t.1937/1817].  Introduced to Britain in 1815.  [JD].  BR f.213/1817.  BF pl.35/1842.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [B.196/1850].  Obtained from the Sydney Botanic Garden, 28th October 1846.  It may have been lost as Gloxinia speciosa was requested of James Backhouse on 1st February, 1849, and this is the probable source of the catalogue plants.


See the essay on the History of the Florists’ Gloxinia.

Published Feb 01, 2009 - 01:48 PM | Last updated Mar 16, 2010 - 04:16 PM

Depicted is a gloxinia with small, blue, slipper-type flowers with a purplish throat.  Botanical Register f.213, 1817.

Sinningia speciosa (Lodd.) Hiern | BR f.213/1817 | BHL 

Family Gesneriaceae
Region of origin


  • Gloxinia speciosa Lodd.
Common Name

Florists’ Gloxinia

Name in the Camden Park Record

Gloxinia speciosa 

Confidence level high