|©Brad Walker, March 29, 2014
|Smithiantha multiflora - these I grew from seed from the
"Gesneriad Society" several years ago. 2013 was
the first time they bloomed. Snow white with a yellow stripe in
|Smithiantha 'Aria' x self or F2 - Tall with lovely yellow flowers that
fade to cream with yellow in the throat. Stately and very attractive.
I still have the original 'Aria', but this selfing is a little more butter
yellow and taller.
|Smithiantha 'Splashdance' - I bought all of the colored
smithianthas in the spring of 2013 and they bloomed
this fall. Incredible spotted flowers in abundance.
|Smithiantha 'Tropical Beauty' - incredible pink
blooms with bright gold throats, real
|Smithiantha 'Tropical Sunset' - one of the tall,
stately ones with color to spare. Bright orange with a
yellow throat and great habit with no staking. I grow
allof my Smithianthas in 3 1/2 inch deep pots.
|A smithiantha that I can't find the name
for, beautiful light pink blooms with
bright yellow throat.
Smithiantha –originally called Naegelia, the genus was later renamed Smithiantha in honor of Mathilde
Smith. The common name for them is ‘Temple Bells’, because of the beautiful pendant flowers. They are
easy to grow, have few problems and put on a tremendous show.
These are rhizomatous plants with a natural dormancy in the winter. They come from the tropical plateaus
of Central and South America (mostly Mexico and Brazil). There are several species, many hybrids and
intergeneric hybrids at this time, with a little something for everyone. They have soft, hairy leaves that
range from several shades of green to deep burgundy, many with green leaves with a burgundy overlay.
The flower colors come in a range of colors including white, burgundy, orange, red, yellow, pink and any
combination of these colors. The flowers are born on long upright stems and hang gracefully as a slipper
form, the name Temple Bells. Smithianthas range in size from compact to a couple of feet (my smithianthia
‘Aria’ F2 is about 20 to 26 inches most years). I grow them in 3 ½ inch tall pots, in Miracle-Gro potting soil
that I change every year. I grow mine outside on raised benches. Here in Tennessee, my smithianthas
start growth in early April and start blooming late July through October. Usually by mid to late October I cut
the tops off and move them underneath the floor (the temperature stays at about 45 degrees Fahrenheit
all winter). This keeps the rhizome dormant and healthy until spring, then they are repotted, put in the
greenhouse for couple of weeks and out on the benches by late April.
As a side note I tend to like the white and cream colored ones, I really like the bright colored flowers
available now, but the white and cream are just very elegant. Try any of them and you will want at least
one in your collection forever.
|'HCY's Winter Glory' - Incredible pink flowers with yellow and
white throat. In 2013 it had multiple crowns on the same plant
from each of the top four leaf axils. It also has the added
bonus of green leaves with the burgundy overlay.