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 x insignis Hort.

Insignis is figured in the Botanical Register, shown as white, flushed deep pink on the upper lobes and on the outside.  It is a slipper gloxinia.  [BR f.48/1844].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘For the few last months our gardens have been furnished with some new varieties of this beautiful plant, which have excited universal admiration; especially those in which pink is the predominant colour.  We have, therefore, thought it desirable to take advantage of an opportunity afforded by Mr. Glendinning of the Chiswick Nursery, for bringing together the most distinct among them.  The account Mr. Glendinning has given of their origin is as follows:-

“These beautiful varieties were raised from G. speciosa rubra fertilized with the pollen of Sinningia guttata.  The flowers, however, give little evidence of the male parent, although the branching habit which distinguish Nos. 1 and 4, are proofs of their alliance to Sinningia, particularly that of magniflora, which has very hairy leaves and stems, and an erect growth.  They were first raised in the garden of the Duke of Northumberland at Syon, by his Grace's gardener, Mr. Carton, who has been long celebrated for producing various interesting novelties by hybridizing.  The plants which furnished the figures were exhibited by me before the Horticultural Society in Regent Street, in June last, when they were awarded a Banksian medal.  The same individuals have continued to bloom ever since very profusely, and are now, August 14th, still in flower.  On that account, as well as their great beauty, they are likely to prove permanent objects of interest in our gardens.”  [BR f.48/1844].

Gloxinia insignis, 1844, is listed as an extinct cultivar in the Gesneriad Register – Sinningia.   

History at Camden Park

It was requested of James Backhouse on 1st February, 1849 [MP A2933-1, p.183], this is the only reference I have found.


I have treated this plant as a hybrid, rather than a cultivar of Sinningia speciosa as with most other Gloxinias, on the basis of the evidence of its origin given by Glendinning. However, from the illustration it is more likely to be a cultivar of Sinningia speciosa (Lodd.) Hearn. See also Siningia x Cartoni Hort. and Sinningia speciosa ‘Erecta Magnifica’.

Published Sep 09, 2009 - 01:53 PM | Last updated Aug 24, 2011 - 02:27 PM

Shown are four slipper gloxinias in shades of pink, white and purple.  Botanical Register f.48, 1844.

Sinningia x insignis | BR f.48/1844 | RBGS.  Insignis is fig.2, top centre.


Family Gesneriaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, England

  • Sinningia speciosa ‘Insignis’


Common Name

Gloxinia, Slipper gloxinia

Name in the Camden Park Record

Gloxinia insignis


Confidence level high