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Gesneriads grown for their foliage

Posted by gessiegirl z7AR ( on
Sun, Feb 26, 06 at 13:23

Is gloxina perennis considered a gesneriad grown for its foliage? And would rhizomes in the leaf avils disqualify it in an AV show? By the way, gloxinia perennis did't receive a name change, in the reclassification, did it?

I figure nautilocalyx lynchii will certainly qualify as a gesneriad grown for foliage. How about smithiantha 'Sassy Redhead?"



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RE: Gesneriads grown for their foliage

  • Posted by jon_d Northern Calif. (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 26, 06 at 14:54

In an AV show you never know how a judge will react to a non-variegated foliage plant. Technically the catagory should be something like "grown for ornamental qualities other than flowers". This could include colorful berries or other plant features. If the axial rhizomes look unsightly then they should be removed prior to the show, for maximum score. If they are an interesting feature you can risk them, and complain later if the judges don't agree. (Actually you shouldn't complain--I'm just kidding) If you want to let the rhizomes continue to grow and don't care about the maximum point score then leave them on. They would certainly be educational.

Gloxinia perennis is the type plant for the genus, so it stays a gloxinia, while all the other species got shifted to new genera. The new genus gloxinia is now a small little club with about 3 species, two of which were formerly not gloxinias. Meanwhile the heart of the old genus got moved back into Seemannia (sylvatica, purpurascens, gymnostoma, nematanthoides). The odd ball G. lindenii is now in its own little monotypic genus, Gloxinella. Change your labels now before you forget (which I should do too).


RE: Gesneriads grown for their foliage

Oh, Jon, I don't know. I've never noticed or judged a show with a gloxina perennis in the grown for foliage category. I've judged plenty of pretty pink episceas and nice rosette chiritas, but no glox perennis has dared show its face without flowers. I'm a pretty lenient judge, but I'm afraid I'd look at it and say, "I don't think so!" The judges did that over some awesome petrocomeas at the Baton Rouge AVSA show a couple of years ago. Maybe because they weren't variegated. ;) I did complain about that even though none of the pets was mine. It was the educational quality had me considering entering my gloxinia perennis in this category. Well, to honest, (I know, I know) also because most of my other gesneriads either just finished blooming, look like they'll bloom the week after show, or look like they haven't even considered such a thing.

Thanks for the re-classification info. This time I copied it into my Word "Gesneriad Info" file, and I think I will go change labels while it's on my mind.


RE: Gesneriads grown for their foliage

  • Posted by jon_d Northern Calif. (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 1, 06 at 15:05

Betty, I'm a big believer in showing plants for their educational value even I don't expect them to get any ribbons. In our gesneriad society shows, the judging is competitive with a first, second and third. There is no merit judging and there is no scoring for the show as a whole. So, a plant that doesn't merit a blue still adds to the show. I like to think, that I bring plants to our local show that give the best plants something to be judged against. In our small chapter, where few of our members show, we usually have 80+ plants, which can look quite impressive. I grow some biggies too, which can take up a lot of room. So we fill up all the tables in our room. Often the public is more taken with a non-winner that they find fascinating.

In AGGS (Now the Gesneriad Society) shows, non-blooming petrocosmeas are often shown. Unless I'm mistaken that would require them to be in the "foliage" class. However, we also have a class for a "collection grown for foliage"; and that is where we usually see them, in groups of five or so. The first time P. forrestii was shown at AGGS it caused a sensation, though it had no flowers. In those days it was thought to be ducloixii.

But, whether a G. perennis is a foliage plant is really a judgement call. It has nice big leaves and an attractive upright habit, that can be difficult to achieve. But, judges will often respond like you did, that it is just a plant that hasn't flowered yet. I suppose the same can be said of a smithiantha, except that they have much showier foliage.

Once however, going back to the dim recesses of my memory, I recall a beautiful deep red leaved S. cinnabarina being denegrated as not qualifying for foliage since it would be a flowering plant at its best. I found that argument ridiculous as there are few plants of any family as spectactular in foliage. N. lynchii is often shown in the foliage class. Many years ago an entry in our local show won Best in Show. In our foliage section we have a separate class for episcias (w/out flowers). This relates to an old theory that episcias grown for foliage do better in lower light (and with disbudding, of course) than those grown for flowers, which would have smaller leaves.

Good luck with the show. I hope it generates lots of interest and some new members for your AV chapter.


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