Gloxinia erinoides

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  • Previous Name: Koellikeria erinoides
  • Photographer: Leslie Brothers, courtesy Smithsonian Institution
  • Grown by: Smithsonian Institution Greenhouses

Images copyright by the individual photographers or their institutions.

Gloxinia erinoides, formerly known as Koellikeria erinoides, is a small plant, with attractive bright green leaves spotted with silver. The flowers are tiny, but many are produced on a tall flowering stalk. It is most effective when grown in a manner that allows the development of many bloom stalks.

G. erinoides is most often grown in terrariums, although it will do well on an open light stand or in a greenhouse. While most plants have the characteristic bicolour flowers, red above and white below, there are all white forms. There are other variants of the species, such as Gloxinia erinoides ‘Red Satin’. The photograph above may in fact be this variant, as the leaves appear darker than would be the case in the standard species.

I prefer to grow these plants in wide pots such as bulb pans, planting many rhizomes at a time. This allows the plants to be displayed effectively, somewhat as they might appear in nature where they can form extensive mat-like ground covers.

Exhibited at the 2002 Convention show of the AGGS, this photo nicely illustrates the attractive spotted foliage of this species. This is a young plant, just coming into bloom. This side-by-side photo nicely contrasts the dark reddish leaves of ‘Red Satin’ with the more conventional green leaves of the standard species.

G. erinoides ‘Polo Polo’ is a spectacular foliage plant when well grown, as can be seen in this show plant. The cultivar ‘Judy’ has somewhat darker-colored upper parts on the flower than in the standard forms.