Gloxinia perennis grows from scaly rhizomes, and can be a robust plant for tropical beds. Under home conditions it does not seem to grow quite so large. The terminal inflorescence can become quite long and usually has mottling along its length, which gave rise to one of its older names “Gloxinia maculata”.
Gloxinia perennis is a rare gesneriad example of a “perfume flower”. The perfume droplets produced by the flower at the base of the corolla are collected by male bees, and used to mark swarm areas and attract females. During the course of collecting the perfume the bees effect pollination of the flowers. While rare in the Gesneriaceae, numerous orchids use similar mechanisms for attraction of pollinators.
Additional photos may be seen in a slideshow by clicking one of the links below:
- A small show plant, exhibited at the 2022 convention show of the Gesneriad Society
- A length of an inflorescence, showing the mottling that gave rise to the name “Gloxinia maculata”
- Male Euglossine bees collecting perfume droplets for use in mating processes
- A 19th Century botanical print, as Gloxinia maculata