African Violet- Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#30

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

When I was first interested in houseplants, people always talked about how hard African Violets were. That turned me off to these plants. After a couple years of working in the garden center, I wanted to try one! They were only one of the few houseplants that consistently bloomed, so I definitely wanted that in my house! To my surprise, it wasn't that hard at all! Now I have six African Violets and I plan to collect even more!

Botanical Name

A few years ago, African Violets were reclassified to Streptocarpus. They were originally called Saintpaulia and people typically still refer to them that way. Saintpaulia ionantha is the botanical name of the majority of African Violets you will see in plant shops (new reclassified name is Streptocarpus sect. Saintpaulia ionanthus or Streptocarpus ionanthus). There are several others such as Saintpaulia goetzeana, Saintpaulia pusilla, Saintpaulia shumensis, Saintpaulia teitensis, just to name a few.

The original name Saintpaulia came from Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire who collected the first African Violet. The more you know!!!

Common Names

African Violet, or some people refer to it as it's previous botanical name, Saintpaulia.

Variety Names

Most of the time your African Violet won't be labeled with the specific variety name but there are 1000's out there! They vary in size, flower color, flower texture, leaf pattern, and leaf texture!