Gloxinia is a small genus, containing only 14 species of tropical herbaceous perennials that are all native to the Andes mountains. Gloxinia is in the Gesnariaceae family, making it a relative of African violets, achimenes and sinningia. Most people are familiar with the florist's gloxinia, a highly hybridized houseplant which used to be in the genus gloxinia but is now known as Sinningia speciosa.

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The genus is currently in the middle of a taxonomic tug of war and one proposal made in 2005 would reassign the species into 6 or more genera (primarily Seemannia), leaving just 3 species in Gloxinia. For the time being we are going to keep gloxinia together but we may change our mind in the future.

Luckily for us here in the Southeast, a few gloxinia species grow in mountainous areas. These selections have evolved some cold hardiness, making them exotic perennials for the temperate garden. The tubular flowers attract hummingbirds to the garden too. When you are ready to buy gloxinia for your garden or home, check out our list of gloxinia for sale.