By 1817, plants of what we now know by the name Sinningia speciosa were being widely grown in the London area, or, as William Curtis put it in The Botanical Magazine (1817), “. . . of late introduction, but already to be found in most of the large collections about town”.
There were three illustrated publications of the species, as Gloxinia speciosa, produced in 1817.
- Loddiges’ Botanical Cabinet is generally credited as being the first of these, and the first publication of the species
- Sydenham Edwards’ Botanical Register appears to have been next; the image above comes from this publication
- William Curtis’s Botanical Magazine rounded out the trio, giving credit to both of the others in its text page.
The Loddiges print is fairly basic and small, and has an unusually strong color; the Curtis is attractive and detailed, and illustrates a somewhat less-open corolla face than the others; the Edwards is a double-wide print, and to this writer’s taste the best of the lot.
A number of other prints published under this name, or variants, can be found here in the main listing. Photographs of living plants can be seen here, here and here.