American Bush Violet

Browallia speciosa

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Browallia (bro-WAHL-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: speciosa (spee-see-OH-suh) (Info)



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:




White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer


Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Auburn, Alabama

Camarillo, California

Brookfield, Connecticut

New Haven, Connecticut

Keystone Heights, Florida

Longwood, Florida

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Enid, Oklahoma

Newbury, Vermont

Leesburg, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 6, 2013, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A fantastic plant, easy and floriferous, not used nearly as often as it deserves. Here it's especially useful for bedding or containers in shade, where blue to violet flowers are uncommon. Sometimes (but all too rarely) available from garden centers in six-packs, but beware of rootbound starts, as I find they're often stunted. Start seed indoors 8-10 weeks before last frost, as they're slow to develop.

December 2014 update: My enthusiasm has been tempered by further experience with this plant. A stem blight often causes individual plants to fail. I'm not sure if this is due to our source or if it's generally true for this species in my climate.


On May 9, 2012, hymenocallis from Auburn, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

Another common name is amethyst flower and I too love it. It blooms for months without fail and is one of our favorites here in Central Alabama.


On Apr 5, 2011, greenthumb99 from Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Often designated as an annual, B. speciosa is a tender perennial. Specimens of the 'Heavenly Bells' cultivar brought indoors bloomed continuously all winter while kept at about 58 degrees, providing a wonderful display of color at a dreary time of year. See my second photo at taken in early April.


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

I've read that browallia speciosa is a true perennial, while browallia americana & viscosa are annuals. I live in a frost-free area, but haven't been able to keep these plants going into a second year. However, my plants did bloom continually from late May to October. They performed best in partial to full shade in a spot which was moist and sheltered from strong winds. I've heard that this browallia makes a good houseplant. I spent three months nursing along my seedlings before planting out. (They took 2-3 weeks to germinate and developed slowly.) The annual browallias germinated and grew much more quickly. Stokes Seeds is a good source of seeds.


On Jan 18, 2009, dirt_digger from Longwood, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I love this plant. It has come back every year, but does not oversow. It is blooming right now when so little else is blooming. I have it in a slightly shaded spot with moist soil.


On Sep 12, 2006, ifonly from Brookfield, CT wrote:

This is a great annual. For years I resisted adding annuals to my perennial beds, but it finally dawned on me that they are great fillers and bridge the times when I have no perennials blooming. I like annuals that are a little less common - no marigolds or impatiens for me - and this one is blooming its heart out at the front of the bed. Pretty blue. I'll plant this again and add a few other kinds next year!


On Jun 29, 2004, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Plant grew fairly easy and relatively fast from seed. It was said to be a a great houseplant but it never bloomed for me so I put it outside in full sun, the temps are in the high 90s, and it flowered less than a week later. I'm looking forward to more blooms and I'm waiting for my scragly plants to "bush" in these new conditions.


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

Grows 8-12 inches tall with smooth branching stems. The flowers are 2-iches wide and can be blue, violet, purple, or white. Its mounding form makes it an excellent choice for containers.