The Gardeners’ Chronicle, (Ser. 3) 17: 144-145 (February 2, 1895)

(Gesnera Pyramidalis x Gloxinia, Radiance)

 John Weathers R.H.S.

Outside the natural order Orchidaceae, there are practically only one or two bigeneric hybrids in existence. One, Philageria Veitchi X, was raised in 1872 by Messrs. Veitch & Sons, Chelsea, by fertilising Lapageria alba with pollen from Philesia buxifolia. Another, which is represented in the accompanying illustration (fig. 22), was raised in the same establishment, and made its appearance at a meeting of the Royal Horticultural Society on May 8, 1894, when it received an award of merit. Like Philageria, the generic name Gloxinera is a combination of Gloxinia and Gesnera—the latter being the seed-bearing plant. The flowers are of a fair size, and of a brilliant scarlet colour tinged with magenta in the shadows. The foliage is more nearly that of a Gloxinia than a Gesnera in appearance, being very succulent and covered with fine hairs. Everything seems to point to a large number of bigeneric hybrids in the future, and it may be interesting in years to come for posterity to look back upon some of the first results achieved by their predecessors.

See: Gesnera Donckelaariana (1853)

Jour. Hort. May 12, 1881
Gloxinia Radiance
(Veitch).—An erect-flowered variety, the flowers of medium size, very smooth, and symmetrical in form; the corolla rich crimson, the tint extending nearly to the base of the tube inside, the outer part very pale pink. It was very free and compact in habit, the leaves 8 inches long by 6 broad, bright green.

Proc. Roy. Hort. Soc. (1859)
Gesnera pyramidalis:—from Mr. W. Bull. A handsome dwarf and free-flowering variety, resembling G. gloxiniaeflora, and, like it, producing broad reddish rugose leaves, and large rosy-carmine flowers.

Proc. Roy. Hort. Soc. (1861)
Gesnera gloxiniaeflora:— from Messrs. E.G. Henderson & Son, St. John's Wood. A handsome erect-growing hybrid, producing large ovate hairy dark-coloured leaves, and numerous axillary flowers, as large as those of a Gloxinia, deep rich rose-colour, with a paler tube and deeper throat. It is a fine ornamental variety, introduced from the Continental gardens, and with the following was contributed for inspection only.

La Belgique Horticole (1858)
The three great Gesneria are alone sufficient to make the name Donkelaar ever memorable in the annals of horticulture. He had the good fortune to see late in the fall 1850 his Gesneria Donkelaarii bloom for the first time, a beautiful hybrid from artificial insemination of G. discolor by pollen of Gloxinia rubra. It is a noble plant, inflorescence paniculate, with the corolla very large, a beautiful pink outside, yellowish within. The Gesneria Miellezii has flowers of a clear, delicate lilac, and G. Gloxiniaeflora, the most beautiful of the three, bloomed for the first time in 1856, its flowers are large and of a crimson red.

Gartenflora 15: 210 (1866)
But this origin is beyond doubt and was further confirmed by that Gesneria Donckelaarii again fertilized with Gloxinia, gave the Gesneria hybr. Miellezii and hybr. pyramidalis hybrids in the second generation, of which we ourselves by continuing fertilization bred third and fourth generations, which are almost entirely genuine Gloxinia, while the initial descent from Gesneria discolor in leaf, flower and growth is still clearly seen.

De la fécondation naturelle et artificielle des végétaux et de l'hybridation (1862)
The Gesneria Douckelaarii was obtained by the skilful gardener whose name it bears, by the artificial fertilization of Gesneria discolor by pollen of Gloxinia rubra, hybridity perhaps doubtful. It's a beautiful plant, with a beautiful tassel of a beautiful pink flowers outside and yellowish within. One should also be considered as hybrids obtained by Douckelaar the Gesneria Miellezii flowering lilac and G. gloxiniaeflora with large carmine flowers.

Veitch: Hortus Veitchii (2011)
Gloxinera Brilliant

A bigeneric hybrid raised at Chelsea by the foreman West, by crossing a florist's variety of Gloxinia, Radiance, with the pollen of Gesnera pyramidalis.

The brilliant scarlet flowers, tinged with magenta in the shadows, are of intermediate character, and the foliage follows more the Gloxinia than the Gesnera type.

Revue de l'horticulture belge et étrangère 11: 17 (1885)
It was reserved for M. Sultze, an ardent disciple of the German flora, to obtain a hybrid of the genus Gloxinia of real merit. The Gloxinia gesnerioides, resulting from a cross between a seedling of Gloxinia and Gesneria Donkelaari, appears to have retained the qualities of its authors: first, growth and decorated foliage of the Gesneria; on the other hand, the shape and red color of Gloxinia.

Gardener's Monthly and Horticulturist 27: 250 (August 1885)
Fertile Hybrids.—After the full account of the want of sterility in hybrids, which appeared in the Independent some months ago, nothing further is, perhaps, deemed necessary; and yet it may be useful to place on record any remarkable cases as they arise. It was stated in that account, that among gesneraceous plants, our conservatories teemed with cases of fertile hybrids, not only between very distinct species, but also between genera. Another very striking illustration of this has recently been introduced, the work of a German florist. It is a hybrid between Gesneria Donckelaari, and one of the common greenhouse gloxinias. It will not, for an instant, be contended, that, under the strictest idea of genera, these are not wholly distinct. But the genera have not only been made to unite, but the hybrid produces seeds freely, and seedlings reproduce the hybrid parent exactly. The florists have named it Gloxinia gesneroides; and the fertile seed is put into the market as a regular item of commerce. Cases like these present considerations the strongest scientific man may well hesitate to grapple with. First, the idea of genera as something distinct from species becomes confused. The florists have turned the plant into Gloxinia; but it would be difficult to say just how much is Gloxinia, and how much Gesneria. Second, there is no more reason why a plant of a Gloxinia, in a state of nature, may not get the pollen of a Gesneria through the agency of an insect, or some accident. If the seed get the chance to grow, we have such a hybrid as this. If the hybrid get the chance to raise its seeds, and the seedlings proved as constant as these have so far proved, we have in nature a very distinct species that did not exist before—a new species originated by hybridization. It is not only not impossible, but highly probable, that such instances have occurred, because everything is favorable for just such a conjunction of circumstances. It is perfectly safe to conclude not only that there is a continual creation of species, but that hybridization is one of the agencies through which the new forms are introduced.—Independent.