Streptocarpus saxorum: False African Violet

Streptocarpus. About 155 species of Streptocarpus are currently recognised. A popular house plant, Streptocarpus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Gesneriaceae [Gesneriads]. The flowers are five-petalled, salverform tubes, almost orchid-like in appearance, and hover or arch over the plant. The genus is native to parts of Africa and Madagascar.

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Streptocarpus saxorum [False African Violet, Cape primrose] is a charming Streptocarpus with dainty lilac flowers, member of Gesneriaceae. It is both pretty and tough with succulent foliage which droops, making it ideal for hanging baskets and tall pots.

Streptocarpus saxorum is a small herbaceous plant that forms mounds of about 5-8 cm high. This semi-shrubby stemmed species falls under the subgenus Streptocarpella and the foliage is quite different to the more common Streptocarpus. Its slender, hairy stems spread along the ground crowded with small, matt-green, softly hairy, fleshy, elliptic to ovate leaves that occur in whorls of three. Its branches become slightly woody with age. The young growth is quite flexible and will naturally trail from a suspended container/pot.

Photo: WNC Farmers MarketAshevilleNorth Carolina, 20121014
Source: Wikipedia, www.plantzafrica.com

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