Episcia and Alsobia

Episcia and Alsobia are closely related genera. At one point, the Alsobia group was considered to be part of the Episcias. The two genera share a stoloniferous habit, in that rapidly growing stems are produced, at the tip of which is a plantlet. These plantlets root readily, and in nature can result in a large mat of plants, each of which may have originated from a single plant. However, the two genera are sufficiently different that most botanists have accepted their separation into separate genera.

Episcias are most often grown for their highly attractive, variably coloured foliage. Many hybrids have been created, with foliage ranging from pale pink, white and green, to dark chocolate brown, with many variations of silver, red and pink in between. Some have attractive veining. Flowers are usually bright reddish orange, although some species and cultivars have lavender or pink flowers.

There are two commonly grown Alsobia species, as well as hybrids of the two species. Alsobia dianthiflora is a small-leaved compact plant that produces large white frilled flowers. A. punctata is a much larger and coarser species, with similar large frilled flowers, which are white with purple spots. More commonly grown than either of these is A. ‘Cygnet', and the similar A. 'San Miguel'. Both are primary hybrids of the two species, and are intermediate between the parents in terms of leaf size and overall appearance. The flowers are heavily frilled and have the purple spots of the punctata parent.

Episcias require warmth and humidity to do well. They do not tolerate cool temperatures or dry conditions, and must be kept moist. Some cultivars require a protected growing environment, although many growers do well with most cultivars in windows or on open shelves under lights. Alsobias are more forgiving, and can do well with less humid air and cooler temperatures.

Both Episicas and Alsobias are primarily terrestrial in nature, where they function as ground covers in tropical rainforests. They seem to perform best in a medium that is both reasonably well-drained, and somewhat moisture retentive. Many growers report good success using standard African Violet soil mixes.


Alsobia species

Alsobia dianthiflora

Alsobia dianthiflora

Alsobia dianthiflora 'Costa Rica'

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Alsobia dianthiflora topiary
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Alsobia punctata

Alsobia punctata Smithsonian

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Alsobia sp. 'Chiapas' (USBRG 1994-005)

Alsobia sp. nov. aff. punctata (USBRG 1994-005)


Alsobia hybrids


Alsobia 'San Miguel'
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Alsobia punctata x A. sp. 'Chiapas'
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Alsobia  punctata x A. sp. 'Chiapas' (plant)

Episcia species

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Episcia fimbriata 'Blue Heaven'

Episcia lilacina

Episcia xantha

Episcia hybrids

Episcia 'Alyce's Aussie'

Episcia 'Black Star'
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Episcia 'Blue Nile'

Episcia 'Bronze Queen'

Episcia 'Chocolate Cream'


Episcia 'Cleopatra' (bowl)


Episcia 'Costa Rica'

Episcia 'Costa Rica' leaf

Episcia cultivars as ground cover (Kew)

Episcia cultivars as ground cover 2 (Kew)

Episcia cultivars as ground cover 3 (Kew)

Episcia 'Ember Lace'

Episcia 'Ember Lace' (detail)

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Episcia 'Flamingo'

Episcia 'Gold Digger'

hybrid 1

hybrid 2

hybrids 3

Episcia hybrid 4

Episcia 'Kee Wee'

Episcia 'La Solidad Bronze'

Episcia 'Moonlight Valley'

Episcia 'Moonlight Valley' (2)

Episcia 'Moss Agate'

Episcia 'Musaica'

Episcia 'Pink Acajou'

Episcia 'Pink Dreams
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Episcia 'Pink Dreams' mutation (yellow flowers)

Episcia 'Pink Gator'

Episcia 'Pink Heaven'

Episcia 'Pink Panther'

Episcia 'Pink Panther' (detail)

'Raspberry Blush'

Episcia 'Sea Cliff'

Episcia 'Sea Foam'

'Silver Skies'

Episcia 'Silver Skies'

Episcia 'Spearmint'
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Episcia 'Star of Bethlehem'

Episcia 'Sun Gold'

Episcia 'Sun Gold' flowers

Episcia 'Suomi'

Episcia 'Suomi'

'Teddy Bear'

Episcia 'Temiskaming'
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Episcia 'Tiger Stripe'

'Tropical Topaz'
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Episcia 'Tropical Topaz' (show)
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Episcia 'Unpredictable Valley'

Episcia  'Unpredictable Valley' AGGS02

Episcia 'Variegata'

Episcia 'War Paint'






More Reading:

  • Slippery

  • Sock

  • Sometime

  • Sour

  • Sow

  • Spade

  • Spill

  • Spoon

  • Stocking

  • Strap