3-Deoxyanthocyanins are rare anthocyanin pigments produced by some mosses, ferns, and higher plants. The enzymes and genes responsible for biosynthesis of 3-deoxyanthocyanins have not been well characterized. We identified a novel gene encoding UDP-glucose:3-deoxyanthocyanidin 5-O-glucosyltransferase (dA5GT) from Sinningia cardinalis, which accumulates abundant 3-deoxyanthocyanins in its petals. Five candidate genes (ScUGT1 to ScUGT5) were isolated from an S. cardinalis flower cDNA by degenerate PCR targeted for the UGT88 clade. ScUGT1, ScUGT3, and ScUGT5 exhibited 45-47% identity with rose anthocyanidin 5,3-O-glucosyltransferase, which catalyzes glucosylation at the 5- and 3-position of 3-hydroxyanthocyanidin. Based on its temporal and spatial gene expression patterns, and enzymatic activity assays of the recombinant protein, ScUGT5 was screened as a dA5GT candidate. Recombinant ScUGT5 protein expressed in Escherichia coli was used to analyze the detailed enzymatic properties. The results demonstrated that ScUGT5 specifically transferred a glucosyl moiety to 3-deoxyanthocyanidins in the presence of UDP-glucose, but not to other flavonoid compounds, such as 3-hydroxyanthocyanidins, flavones, flavonols, or flavanones.