Browallia Species, Amethyst Flower, Bush Violet, Jamaican Forget-Me-Not

Browallia americana

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Browallia (bro-WAHL-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: americana (a-mer-ih-KAY-na) (Info)
Synonym:Browallia elata
Synonym:Browallia elongata
Synonym:Browallia nervosa
Synonym:Browallia pulchella
Synonym:Browallia viscosa



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade



Foliage Color:

Medium Green


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Medium Blue



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama

Alameda, California

Richmond, California

Sacramento, California

San Marcos, California

Green Cove Springs, Florida

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Westminster, Maryland

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Somerville, Massachusetts

Bay City, Michigan

Redford, Michigan

Saint Clair Shores, Michigan

Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Rochester, New York

Dayton, Ohio

Austin, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Houston, Texas

Woodway, Texas

Orma, West Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 2, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A beautiful shade-tolerant annual with blue-violet flowers over a long period in shade. It should be better known and more widely carried in garden centers. This has performed well for me in Boston Z6a.

I too find it self-sows ( not weedily) but here the seedlings come into bloom too late in the season to make a good show.

Flowers are much smaller than with Browallia speciosa but are produced in abundance.


On Sep 19, 2011, nolainbloom from New Orleans, LA wrote:

I must confess, I first saw this plant growing in the cooler elvated garua on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos, Ecuador (I see one of the related photos was taken on this very island, and wonder if this might be the patch I found near the mouth of a lava tube)... anyway, I thought the plant and flower to be somewhat a delicate and glowing spectacle in a low-light, clouded and misty locale. I admit, somehow, a few seed pods found their way into one of my bags... hmmm. That said, this plant has been an annual event in our garden since first seeded some four springs ago. Be assured, at least here in New Orleans, LA, one plant is all you need. The first seeds were sewn and grown in a pot in morning sun. The following year, Browallia grew everywhere it found a footing in my garden. I now pull the p... read more


On Aug 14, 2011, lsuzuki from Beavercreek, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I love this plant! I started some from seed 3 years ago, and have not had to start it again since - it self seeds readily! (Fortunately, unwanted seedlings are easily pulled out.) It stands out nicely in shade due to the white eye in the flower. It is much more drought tolerant than impatiens. Deadheading not required.


On Jun 16, 2010, PammiePi from Green Cove Springs, FL wrote:

I live in Florida where the temperature can get quite high as can the humidity, so not all plants do well here. I bought this plant at a local nursery where the nursery woman said to treat it like an impatien. My yard has areas of full sun, part sun, & deep shade. I put the plant in a pot on my back deck where it gets mostly filtered sunlight, with early morning sun, & I water it daily. So far it is doing great. I suspect the plant will do well near my wooded natural spring, so plan on buying more to plant in the ground near the spring. I love the way this plant looks, and it flowers non-stop. The high heat & humidity does not seem to be bothering it.


On May 31, 2010, annlof from Camarillo, CA wrote:

I've grown browallia speciosa "bells," browallia americana "blue lady" and browallia viscosa "amethyst" in my southern California garden. All are easy to start from seed. (Stokes Seeds is a good source.) Viscosa is the least showy of the three because the flowers, while numerous, are the smallest. They are a deep violet purple (not blue) with a white eye and the foliage is a handsome dark green. I found that this plant is tougher than the other browallias when it comes to standing up to the elements (i.e., sun, shade, drought, wind.) I think the best plants are grown in moist loamy soil in warm shade. Slugs nibbled at the seedlings, but once the plants got to be 3-4 inches tall, they left them alone. Unlike browallia americana, this plant doesn't flop. Germination and seedling development ... read more


On Jan 17, 2010, annlof from Camarillo, CA wrote:

Seems to be more tolerant of cool nights than browallia speciosa ("blue bells"). Easily started from seed and planted in shade/part shade. Although I kept cutting it back, it always seemed to be in flower. Also remarkably slug-resistant for a shade plant.


On Dec 16, 2008, Susan_C from Alameda, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I love this plant. I grew it for the first time this season, and it was very easy to start from seed. It began blooming months ago and is still blooming now, in December. The foliage is nice and the prolific violet-blue flowers really pop in the shady bed I'm growing it in. It's a keeper for me!


On May 31, 2008, straea from Somerville, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I first grew browallia last year. I was impressed with its performance - it bloomed nearly continuously, often smothered with blooms, despite a dry summer and being planted close to a tree with shallow roots. I enjoyed it so much that this year I've added the cultivar (not yet listed at Dave's Garden) "Blue Lady". Both the species and "Blue Lady" have been blooming nonstop since the day I planted them earlier this month. A lovely, graceful annual for partial shade or continual dappled shade, coping well even with the somewhat dry soil near trees.


On Apr 21, 2005, paste592 from Westminster, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

This wonderful annual bloomed from mid-May, through a couple of light frosts well into late October. At all times it produced a profusion of small blue flowers. Planted in well drained composted soil, it thrived on complete neglect all summer -- no feeding, only occasional watering, and no deadheading. It tolerated a surprising amount of sun. My only gripe is that it's not easy to find!!


On Mar 21, 2003, angelini from Tarrytown, NY wrote:

I bought one of these plants on a visit to Laguana Beach, California and brought it back to New York thinking it was a houseplant. That was almost 3 years ago & it is still thriving, although it has not bloomed since I brought it home. It does have beautiful, lush, dark green foliage, but I would really like it to flower again so will try more fertilizer and get back to you.


On Feb 15, 2003, lfreet from Gilbertville, IA wrote:

Browallia is a tender perennial that has thrived wonderfully in my Zone 4 garden. It is a beautiful substitute for impatiens. I have not planted it directly in the ground, but have been pleased with how it has grown in containers. It blooms all summer and comes in compact bush and trailing forms. The flower color is best when shaded from the afternoon sun. Feed only lightly once a month. Too much fertilizer will result in lush foliage but few flowers. It can rage in height from 1-5'. 'Blue Bells', one of my favorites, grows to 1', has lavendar-blue flowers, and the plant requires no pinching. B. speciosa is one of the taller varieties, growing up to 5'.


On Sep 1, 2001, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

Grows 12-20 inches high with hairy foliage that is slightly sticky. The 3/4-inch wide flowers have a distinct white eye. Prefers a site in partial shade with plenty of moisture.


On Mar 14, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

These tender plants are native of South America. They have small terminal clusters of flowers grow from the stems. Blooms range in color from pale blue to violet, depending on variety.