by Kenneth Moore
I was convinced to stick a few Sinningia tubers in my community garden plot. It didn't take too much convincing, to be honest. Tons of sun, quickly drying, and plenty of heat. Some Sinningia can take it--others are more of a test. It's all a test for me--I've never grown gesneriads outside (or tomatoes or corn, for that matter: It's my first real garden plot!).
The other day, I noticed S. sellovii in bloom. It wasn't open, and by the time I went back, the flower had already fallen off. But I think it pollinated itself (no other Sinningia in my garden was in bloom, and I doubt other folks are growing any in their own plots!).
I wouldn't expect this plant to survive over winter [EDIT: I've been told it probably will here in DC!], but I'm sure it's happier here than in my cold basement apartment. This particular plant is still adapting to the outdoors, but it has a cluster of new growth coming up from the tuber. I expect it to give quite a show in the coming months!
The flower is a bit purpley to be the standard variety, but I'm not sure how being out-of-doors affects bloom color. I'd be quite happy if this were 'Purple Rain' instead of the standard form--I'll have to wait until my plant provider gets back from the national convention in Seattle to learn what it bloomed like before!