Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: False African Violet, Streptocarpella
Streptocarpella saxorum

Family: Gesneriaceae (ges-ner-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Streptocarpella (strep-toh-kar-PEL-uh) (Info)
Species: saxorum (SAKS-or-um) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

19 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From leaf cuttings
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 18 photos.
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10 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive RosinaBloom On Mar 25, 2013, RosinaBloom from Waihi
New Zealand (Zone 1) wrote:

Streptocarpus saxorum known also as Cape Primrose, indicates that it is a native of South Africa. It is a hardy, no fuss, easy plant to have in the house or in a hanging basket. Its free flowering, pretty mauve/blue orchid-like flowers are at their best in spring, summer and autumn. They do well in a semi-shaded, sheltered area that gets the morning sun, and need to be watered only when the soil feels dry to the touch, as they do not like wet feet.

Positive Susan_C On Apr 13, 2008, Susan_C from Alameda, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have the "Strybing" cultivar sold by Annie's Annuals. It is growing in part shade and blooms year-round. -I think it very much likes the cool coastal conditions of the immediate SF Bay area. Benefits from an ocassional shearing to keep it from getting floppy. Easy to start from cuttings.

Positive heavenlybubbles On Apr 13, 2006, heavenlybubbles from Kitchener, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have had this plant growing in the window in my office for about four years -- I inherited it from a co-worker who hadn't bothered maintaining the poor little thing and it looked just awful. I cut it back almost completely and it was blooming within the month. I still cut it back about twice a year and I find this helps keep the leaves green. I watered once a month with dilute 20-20-20. This past December I decided that it was just too pot bound -- it had not flowered in some time and the leaves were yellowing -- and so I put it in a 4" pot. The leaves greened up, and the first flowers have just appeared (its now mid-April). Obviously there is a limit to how pot bound this plant can become.

This is a beautiful and resilient plant (if you forget to have somebody water it over vacation it won't die!). Highly recommended house plant. I will be taking cuttings and trying it outside this summer.

Positive BUFFY690 On Nov 3, 2005, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

my plants were started from a single 2 inch cutting in june 2005. stripped of all but two small top leaves, and placed in a nursery mix potting soil. Misted once a day and voila, bloomed in august 2005. I plan on placing one in a hanging basket for next year with their hanging flowers they are a really spectacular hanging basket.

This plant was sold only as blue angel, glad I could find the correct information here at Daves Garden.

Neutral botanycreek On Aug 17, 2005, botanycreek from Genoa, WV wrote:

This is an absolutely fabulous plant. I think it is one of the most rewarding houseplants that I have ever grown, due to the fact that minimal care will result in a spectacular display of deep green foliage and abundant, gorgeous flowers. I purchased mine from an excellent online retailer They probably have the largest selection of Streps in the U.S., and an impressive collection of standard, miniature and trailing African Violets.

By the way, would anyone be interested in trading leaf cuttings? I have a Bristol's Blackbird, which has deep purple (almost black) flowers.

Positive LaCa On Sep 6, 2004, LaCa from Somers Point, NJ wrote:

This plant was a lucky find. It has flowered thoughout the summer and with very little care. I am so pleased to learn it can come indoors and be propagated.

Positive mkjones On Jan 17, 2004, mkjones from Aurora, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Being a cousin of the African Violet, this hardy, easily grown plant just needs the same care--constantly moist soil (as provided by a self-watering pot), brightly indirect light with slightly cooler temps than the AV, and care to never allow its soil to become soggy, leading to crown rot. It will grow, and bloom, happily in a windowsill. I love these plants, and like its AV cousin, there are many lovely varieties & colors from which to choose! This year-round bloomer adds color all over my house, here in Texas!

Positive hollywood7 On Apr 26, 2003, hollywood7 from Streamwood, IL wrote:

There are many colors available (besides the purple shown) of the streptocarpus. Blue, pink, red, white...and combination fantasy colors!!! Streps are not easy to get, though...I have been travelling the area nurseries here in Illinois and haven't seen any. Streps are tough. People who don't have success with African violets can successfully grow them. They are great flowering houseplants for people without green thumbs. They do equally well under natural and artificial light.

Unlike violets, streps will product 6-10 bloom stalks in succession from each leaf. A mature plant with lots of healthy leaves can produce lots of bloom. They like bright indirect light, but the key is don't overwater. Let them dry out between waterings. These guys are more tolerant of neglect than violets, and are harder to kill than violets. And some varieties are mistaken for orchids!

They are really beautiful, I have 5 of them that I'm growing from baby plants, that started out in 2 1/4 inch pots. At first bloom, they should be transplanted to 3 inch pots, and in 6-12 weeks into 5 inch pots. If you want yours to sit on a windowsill, you should select one with a compact growth habit. Streps are very fast, vigorous growers, and need to be divided and repotted into fresh soil at least every 6 months. When very rootbound, especially in very old soil, center growth may show symptoms that in extreme cases, can be mistaken for mite infestation. The key to growing them is keep those roots healthy! Don't overwater! Plant in a very light mix (50% perlite).

Positive Moomers On Dec 14, 2002, Moomers wrote:

I was given a leaf cutting as a going-away present 4+ years ago. I thought I had killed it one time by leaving it out over a night that unexpectedly went below freezing. My plant was very sad for some time after that, but came back to life and has given us much joy. I have since given starts to several friends, and am thrilled to see how well they are doing also. I was told that these plants are quite tender, but ours has certainly withstood the rough treatment I give it (e.g.: not watering until it looks very wilted; rarely fertilizing; etc.).

Positive jj7003 On Nov 26, 2002, jj7003 wrote:

I had this plant in my office and when I was on vacation the staff let it dry out. It looked very dead. I took cuttings, dipped the stem ends in root hormone, planted it in potting soil, and to my great surprise now have several plants growing well.

Positive LindaLW On Oct 13, 2002, LindaLW from Street, MD wrote:

I have never enjoyed a plant more than the streptocarpella that I bought early on this spring. I have never had much success with container plants in general, but this one plant that I bought (I wish I'd bought more,now.) has bloomed, bloomed, bloomed, survived heavy rain without damage, survived all the heat and forgetting to fertilize....there is a handful of grandaddy long legs living in it, and they are also very pleased with the arrangement.I would buy more of these for next year, put more planters out on the deck, and recommend them highly to anyone who enjoys a very happy plant. Now, thanks to your web site, I find I can save them and have their company in the house over the winter! I really love these guys - but the grandaddy long legs can't come in with them.

Neutral tiG On Oct 6, 2001, tiG from Newnan, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Close relatives to African Violets (Saintpaulia) and belong to the same family, Gesneriaceae. Cape Primrose, as they are commonly called, are natives of the wooded mountains of South Africa. They make excellent houseplants in cooler regions. These plants produce attractive leaves, which may have wavy edges, and bear beautiful, trumpet-shaped flowers intermittently throughout the year. It forms clumps of fleshy, oval, dark green leaves. The small flowers are borne in clusters atop long, thin stalks. In the summer, small lilac flowers with white throats are produced. Clusters of small, funnel-shaped flowers are borne intermittently throughout the year.

Cape Primrose require a minimum temperature of 50 to 60 F. They can be grown as houseplants in cool climates. Don't plant them in too large a container; it is better for the plants to be on the pot-bound side as this will aid in flower production. These plants should be grown in moist, humus-rich soil (such as loam, leaf mold & decayed manure with a bit of sand and bone meal added) in a humid atmosphere. Shade them for a few days, then move to bright, but indirect light. Allow dry to the touch in between waterings. Water from the bottom to prevent the leaves from getting wet and rotting at the base. Once the flowers begin to grow, feed every few weeks with a high potash fertilizer. Keep deadheaded. In the winter, water less often and do not fertilize again until spring.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Prattville, Alabama
Alameda, California
Carlsbad, California
Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Daytona Beach, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Kihei, Hawaii
Streamwood, Illinois
Silver Spring, Maryland
Street, Maryland
Concord, New Hampshire
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Brazoria, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas
Houston, Texas
Roanoke, Texas
Palmyra, Virginia
Vancouver, Washington
Genoa, West Virginia
Waupun, Wisconsin

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