Photo and text by John Boggan
Grown at Smithsonian Institution greenhouses
This species comes from the province of Guangxi, China, and in its growth habit closely resembles Saintpaulia. It was introduced by the Smithsonian Institution as SI 94-087. The name comes from the spade-shaped bracts that enclose the developing buds, but the leaves are also spade-shaped. The flowers are produced only two or three at a time, but are large in relation to the plant and are produced over a long period. A closeup of flowers can be seen here.