Salpiglossis Ruiz & Pav.

Velvet Flower

Greek salpinx — tube, glossa — tongue, referring to the resemblance of the style to a tongue.

Erect, often sticky, annual, biennial or perennial herbs. Leaves alternate, broadly lanceolate, simple, entire to lobed or cut, wavy-edged. Flowers solitary, opposite or axillary. Calyx tubular, 5-lobed. Corolla funnel-shaped, with 5 notched lobes. Fertile stamens 4. Ovary 2-chambered. Fruit cylindrical to ovoid.

Grown as bedding and pot plants, often F1 hybrids, tall and dwarf, in a range of elaborately multicoloured and veined, velvety, trumpet-shaped flowers. The hybrid background of cultivars is uncertain but certainly includes S. sinuata Ruiz & Pav., Painted Tongue.

Cultivar groups: Bolero hybrids Dwarf, fast growing, in a range of colours. Casino hybrids Dwarf, compact, the flowers veined in yellow, pink, orange, red and purple.


Resembles the Petunia but generally with more elaborate colouring and veining and 5 prominently notched corolla lobes.

2 species from the S Andes.

Hunziker & Subils (1979).

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Solanaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Solanales
family       Solanaceae