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Sinningia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)

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Scientific Name

Sinningia cardinalis (Lehm.) H.E.Moore

Common Names

Cardinal Flower

Synonyms

Gesneria cardinalis (basionym), Corytholoma cardinale, Dircaea cardinalis, Dircaea lobulata, Gesneria lateritia, Gesneria macrantha, Rechsteineria cardinalis

Scientific Classification

Family: Gesneriaceae
Genus: Sinningia

Description

Sinningia cardinalis is 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 up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall. It grows from tubers and has a period of dormancy after growth and flowering. The flowers are brilliant orange-red, hooded, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and can appear multiple times from late winter to mid-summer.

 

Photo via llifle.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 11a to 11b: from 40 °F (+4.4 °C) to 45 °F (+7.2 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Sinningia grow from tubers, so there is seasonality to them. When the plant is actively growing, keep it lightly moist. When the foliage dies back, just mist the soil regularly to keep the tubers from drying out too much. Start your normal watering when new leaves start to show. As with most plants, Sinningias can survive a short drought, but they don’t recover from drowning. Use tepid water when watering. Nobody enjoys a cold shower. Water the soil, not the plant. Sinningias are prone to crown rot and gray mold which happens when the leaves stay wet. Do not let the plant sit in water, it must be well drained.

Sinningias are shade plants. They have the same light requirements as an African Violet. Morning or soft late afternoon light is best. That means an East, shaded West, or North-facing window. By all means, avoid direct sun during the harsh “skin cancer” hours of the day… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Sinningia

Origin

Native to Brazil.

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