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Streptocarpus ionanthus is often confused with:
Episcia cupreata Episcia cupreata 'Silver Sheen'
Fittonia albivenis Leaves with pink veins
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Petunia x hybrida Petunia x hybrida
Neoregelia Leaves, flowers
Alstroemeria Alstroemeria

African Violet Streptocarpus ionanthus

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called African Violet:

Previously known as:

  • Saintpaulia ionantha
Phonetic Spelling
strep-toh-KAR-pus eye-oh-NAN-thus
Description

Evergreen tropical perennial herb to 15 cm.  Very popular house pot plant, easily distinguished from other desktop plants by its rosette of fuzzy leaves with long petioles and by its flowers in anthocyanin pigments. Numerous cultivars.  Prefers interior sites with bright light, east or south windows in winter; moist soil, but allow the surface to dry before watering, occasionally immerse; prefers high humidity, mist with tepid water when not in flower; requires high fertility medium for continued rebloom; intolerant of dry air or very cold water; pest/disease-prone.

Quick ID

  • Flowers are in anthocyanin pigments
  • Leaves are in basal rosettes & emerge from center
  • Inflorescence is a compound dichasium
  • Leaves are pubescent with red, pink, or purple undersides

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#white#houseplant#blue#purple flowers#blue flowers#interiorscape#hairy leaves#fantz#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#container plants
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#white#houseplant#blue#purple flowers#blue flowers#interiorscape#hairy leaves#fantz#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#container plants
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Streptocarpus
    Species:
    ionanthus
    Family:
    Gesneriaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern & South Western Tanzania
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Houseplant
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Inflorescence dichasium to small cyme on a scape that rises above the leaves, flowers 3-10. Flowers light blue to purple to white, to .9 inches diameter, single to double; calyx 5-parted; corolla tube short, cylindrical, opening to 2 lips, upper lip 2-lobed, lower lip 3-lobed; stamens 2 (-5), anthers yellow, style exserted. Buds, pedicels, and sepals are pubescent.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Velvety
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Orbicular
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenulate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are in basal rosettes, simple, ovate to orbicular, obtuse, crenate, highly pubescent, medium to dark green above, red, pink, or purple beneath. Petioles are long in proportion to the leaf blade and may be green or red.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    green acaulescent
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Problems:
    Frequent Disease Problems
    Frequent Insect Problems