Sinningia ‘Apricot Bouquet’

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  • Photographer: Ron Myhr
  • Grown by: Paul Lee

Images copyright by the individual photographers or their institutions.

This spectacular plant was exhibited at the 2006 convention of the Gesneriad Society. S. ‘Apricot Bouquet’ is one of the more interesting and desirable of the larger-growing cultivars. It is a plant that is well-suited to outdoor culture in the summer, as it tolerates full sun very well, rewarding a diligent watering and fertilizing regime with hundreds of its warm apricot flowers, which are very attractive to hummingbirds. It grows well from cuttings taken early in the growing season. A closer view of the flowers can be seen here, another plant photographed in natural light here, and a show plant from the 2011 convention of the Gesneriad Society, grown indoors, here.

After a peak of flowering in mid summer, the plant gradually tapers off, with fewer flowers produced up until cold weather or even first frost. I then remove the tuber from the soil (it is quite large), and leave it with a coating of soil loose in a spare pot in my cool basement for the winter. When it starts to sprout in late winter I pot it up in a 12″ or 14″ pot, and put it in my bright east-facing window, where it will get some full sun. As soon as it is warm enough (which means no longer freezing at night), I put it outside where it grows rapidly.

By the end of summer, I usually have dozens of mature seed pods on the plant, a function as much of their profusion as of my lazy failure to groom. These seeds are viable, and will produce a variety of interesting progeny, some of which will be quite unlike S. ‘Apricot Bouquet’. The characteristics of all of this cultivar’s ancestry will be reflected in the seedlings — the small shrubby red-flowered S. aggregata ‘Pendulina’, with fragrant and sticky foliage; the large and sometimes ungainly S. tubiflora, with gloriously scented large white flowers; and the salmon-pink, sometimes yellowish, S. warmingii.