Saintpaulia ionantha Wendl.

African Violet

Hairy perennial herbs. Leaves in a rosette, ovate, crinkle-edged and blunt; hairs of 2 lengths on both surfaces. Flowers 8-10 together, to 2 cm or so wide. More or less violet or white with a violet throat. Fruit about 1 cm long.


Cultivars differ in habit, leaf shape and colouration, the leaves with different variegations and margin toothing, the flowers single or variously doubled, frilled or ruffled and varying from white to pink, violet, red and purple. The cultivars are sometimes divided into four broad groupings: standard, dwarf, miniature and trailing - they are too numerous to detail here. Cultivars are registered by the African Violet Society of America Inc.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Gesneriaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Lamiales
family       Gesneriaceae
genus        Saintpaulia Wendl.