There they were, finally: wild African violets, lovely examples of the ancestors of one of the world’s most popular houseplants. They grow naturally only in the coastal mountains and forests of East Africa, and I’d come a long way to see them. ”They aren’t in bloom all the time,” my guide, Abduel, was saying.
Where do African violets grow in nature?
African violets (Saintpaulia ionantha) are native to rainforests in the mountains of eastern African countries like Tanzania. They are low-growing plants, thriving in the shade of other vegetation.
How do African violets reproduce naturally?
Propagation. African violets are easily propagated by division (see Potting). You also can get more violets with leaf-petiole cuttings; however, this takes longer to produce a flowering plant. African violets can be grown from seed, but only a few varieties will come true.
Is the African violet rare?
With all due respect to your international society and its unified cause of common houseplants, the African Violet you admire so much, is in fact, a very rare thing—it is one of the rarest flowers in the world.
What is so special about African violets?
African violets are perhaps the most popular flowering houseplants grown in the world today. There are many reasons for this: The plants generally flower the year round, giving an almost continuous display of blooms. They require the same temperatures humans find comfortable, making them easy to raise in our homes.
What is the rarest African violet?
The rarest African Violet species is the Streptocarpus afroviola (Saintpaulia pusilla) that is native to Tanzania. This African Violet was first described in 1900 by Adolf Engler.
How do I identify an African violet?
African Violet (Saintpaulia ionantha.)
Leaves can be oval to heart-shaped with smooth or ruffled margins. Flowers are borne in single or double clusters, can have five or more petals, may be ruffled around the edges of the petals, and come in different shades and color combinations.
Can you touch African violets?
There’s no doubt that African violet plants are beautiful. In looking at and caring for them, it’s tempting to touch the fuzzy leaves and colorful flowers. While most plants can take this attention with no adverse results, African violets seem to be sensitive to the touch.
Can you grow an African violet from a leaf?
African violets are easily propagated by leaf cuttings. Select a firm, healthy leaf and cut it off with a sharp knife. Leave 1 to 1½ inches of the leaf stem (petiole) attached to the leaf blade. Fill a pot with a moistened 50:50 mix of vermiculite and coarse sand.
How big will an African violet get?
Standard: 8–16 inches across. Large: more than 16 inches across.
Do African violets smell good?
One thing violets are known most for is the fact that they have a lovely scent that seems to go away after just one sniff. That’s because the flowers contain a chemical called ionine which desensitizes the nose and sense of smell temporarily.
How many types of African violets are there?
The African Violet Society of America, the largest group dedicated to a single plant type in the world, has more than 16,000 cultivars in their database. Some of these look virtually identical to one another, and there is much confusion on the different varieties.
Do African violets smell?
It’s true their flowers resemble, but only at a first glance, because even the flowers are different. Also, from their scent one can tell which is an African violet and which is a Parma violet because African violets are totally scentless.
How long does an African violet plant live?
When to Repot Your African Violets
Repotting these blooms is so important due to their long lifespan. “Remember that African violets have a very long lifespan and have been said to last up to 50 years,” says Ryan McEnaney, public relations and communications specialist for Bailey Nurseries.
Can you repot African violets when they are blooming?
Can you repot an African violet when it’s blooming? Moving is stressful enough! We recommend waiting for a lull in blooming before you repot. That said, if your plant is tightly root-bound or at risk of toppling over, it’s okay to repot while flowering.
Can you eat African violets?
So, can you eat violets? Indeed, you can! Violets, both the leaves and flowers, contain high amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A. The edible violet plant can be used to make syrups, brew teas, and in baked desserts.