Seemannia (aka Gloxinia) sylvatica clones?

bubba62July 21, 2008

For several years I've been growing a clone of Seemannia sylvatica which has perennialized in my borders; unfortunately it waits until December to begin blooming, by which time we've usually had a killing frost. At the NC state farmer's market last week I purchased another plant which appears identical, except that it's in full bloom now. Is anyone aware of clonal differences within this species that would cause this behavior? Another possibility is that the growers may have manipulated the daylength in order to produce bloom - the person selling the plants didn't seem to know much about them.

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JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)

There are several clones of Seemannia sylvatica in cultivation. This variable species tends to bloom in the fall or winter, but I don't know if any of the clones bloom earlier. In your area, I would suggest trying Seemannia (Gloxinia) nematanthodes, which has similar bright red flowers but begins to bloom in early summer and according to Tony Avent (Plant Delights Nursery) it's hardy in zone 7b. This is S. nematanthodes 'Evita' from PDN:

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 1:21PM
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bubba62

Thanks, johnnieb - I have grown that variety for years, and it's a great performer here, having become a veritable weed (albeit a good one), along with several Sinningias, Achimenes, and oddballs like Titanotrichum, Hemiboea, and Lysionotus. S. sylvatica returns and grows pretty well, but rarely blooms in time to escape frosts, which is why I was excited about getting this plant. It's still blooming, btw, so I'm hopeful.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 4:00AM
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JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)

I haven't had luck with any achimenes or seemannias surviving even a mild winter. :o(

BTW here's another photo of my S. nematanthodes 'Evita' taken yesterday--it has been blooming its head off!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 3:26PM
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bubba62

It looks great - I love this plant for the way it scrambles all around and fills in gaps. It's kind of a "good" weed here. We're probably a bit warmer than you, so maybe that makes the difference re. the Seemannias and Achimines. They're all pretty late to emerge, and I always save a few rhizomes for insurance purposes. If it's any consolation, your hostas look better than mine at this point!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 6:24AM
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