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Streptocarpus ionanthus (AV)

African violet

S. ionanthus is an evergreen, rosette-forming, frost-tender perennial to 10cm tall. The almost round, fleshy, hairy leaves up to 8cm long are green above and often reddish-green below and have long stalks. Two to eight violet-blue, tubular flowers up to 2.5cm across are held in loose clusters above the foliage all year-round

Other common names
Usambara violet
Synonyms
Saintpaulia tongwensis
Saintpaulia ionantha

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Size
Ultimate height
Up to 10cm
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Blue Purple Green Red
Summer Blue Purple Green Red
Autumn Blue Purple Green Red
Winter Blue Purple Green Red
Position
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H1A
Botanical details
Family
Gesneriaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Matforming
Genus

Streptocarpus can be annuals, perennials or subshrubs, with usually wrinkled, lance-shaped to rounded leaves and clusters of tubular to trumpet-shaped flowers with 5 spreading lobes, often borne throughout the year

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Tanzania

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow as a houseplant in loamless potting compost on an east or west-facing windowsill, or grow in a temperate or warm greenhouse in bright filtered light with shade from hot sun. Water sparingly as compost dries in winter and in the growing season water freely allowing compost to dry out between waterings; feed fortnightly with a high-potassium fertiliser. See Streptocarpus cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by leaf cuttings in summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Patio and container plants
  • Low Maintenance
Pruning

Remove dead leaves

Pests

May be attacked by glasshouse leafhoppers, mealybugs, thrips, vine weevil and tarsonemid mite

Diseases

Generally trouble free

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