Streptocarpus Species, Cape Primrose, Cape Violet, False African Violet, Streptocarpella

Streptocarpus saxorum

Family: Gesneriaceae (ges-ner-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Streptocarpus (strep-toh-KAR-pus) (Info)
Species: saxorum (SAKS-or-um) (Info)


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade




Foliage Color:

Light Green

Medium Green


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)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers



Bloom Color:

Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Huntsville, Alabama

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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 9, 2017, containers_only from Vancouver,
Canada wrote:

5 years ago a friend gave me a hanging bag planted solely in violet blue streptocarpella. I had admired hers the summer before. They propogate easily and love my cool bright shade spots in summer. Then I found out they love being indoors in bright indirect light as well. A friend to whom I'd given a little pot of well-rooted cuttings came back from Holland this summer saying these strepti are very popular there and frequently seen as table decor in little cafes to fancier restaurants. No surprise...the Dutch do love their blues. These are easy, satisfying sweet little bloomers inside all year and outside IN SHADE over the summer.


On Jun 6, 2015, peacefulflower from Huntsville, AL wrote:

Strong and beautiful little plant - I had never seen before, but I had to have one - I lost the plant "id tag", and with no computer access at the time, unable to search, so I was careful with it until I could learn more. Other than careful watering, I have not given it much attention for the past 6 weeks having purchased it right before a trip - but I loved it so much I took it with me. I have never taken a plant on vacation with me before ! It survived well in travels, many environments, and is now home with me on an outdoor table, undercover of patio umbrella. It was blooming when purchased, and has bloomed again within 6 weeks. Thanks to Dave's Garden all of you, I learned what I have & how to care for my special flower.


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.


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.


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 o... read more


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.


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.


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.


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!


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 negle... read more


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.).


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.


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.


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 t... read more