Saintpaulia is the genus to which the immensely popular "African Violet" belongs. It originates in eastern Africa, primarily Tanzania and Kenya, where it may still be found despite disappearing habitat. The species S. ionantha is the primary ancestor of most of the modern hybrids, although other species have also been used.

Most of the species have flowers in shades of blue, in the characteristic gesneriad pattern of two upper and three lower lobes. Modern hybrids range in colour from white through creamy yellow to pink, red and purple (as well as blue). Hybrids can have the standard flower shape, or they can be "star shaped", with all lobes equal in appearance, or double. Many cultivars exhibit multiple colours, sometimes in combination with double flowers.

The species shown on this page, and on their individual pages, have flowers in the blue/purple/lavender range, with the exception of one or two which are white. These colors are notoriously difficult to photograph accurately. Every effort has been made to select photos that accurately depict the flower color of these plants, but actual colors may vary considerably from those depicted here. Any observations about the color accuracy of these photos will be appreciated; please send an e-mail with your observations.

Saintpaulia are well adapted to indoor culture, either under lights or on a windowsill. If kept with reasonable humidity and warmth, provided with regular moisture and light fertilization, they will provide very rewarding amounts of bloom.



Saintpaulia brevipilosa

Saintpaulia brevipilosa (2)
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Saintpaulia brevipilosa (AGGS98)
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Saintpaulia brevipilosa
flowers (AGGS98)

Saintpaulia confusa (detail)

Saintpaulia confusa (?)

Saintpaulia confusa
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Saintpaulia confusa (National Museum of Kenya)

Saintpaulia difficilis

Saintpaulia diplotricha (Punter #6)

Saintpaulia diplotricha (Punter #0)

Saintpaulia goetzeana (detail)

Saintpaulia goetzeana

Saintpaulia grandifolia

Saintpaulia grotei Engler

Saintpaulia intermedia

Saintpaulia ionantha

Saintpaulia ionantha (white)

Saintpaulia magungensis var. minima

Saintpaulia magungensis var. occidentalis

Saintpaulia magungensis var. magungensis

Saintpaulia magungensis ground cover (Kew)

Saintpaulia nitida

Saintpaulia orbicularis var. orbicularis

Saintpaulia orbicularis var. purpurea

Saintpaulia orbicularis var. purpurea (2)
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Saintpaulia orbicularis var purpurea

Saintpaulia orbicularis var purpurea GS07

Saintpaulia pendula var. pendula

Saintpaulia pendula var. pendula (detail)

Saintpaulia pendula var. Kizarae

Saintpaulia rupicola
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Saintpaulia rupicola (N. M. of Kenya)

Saintpaulia species (Mather Clone)
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Saintpaulia sp.  Collection, National Museum of Kenya

Saintpaulia shumensis
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Saintpaulia species on mossy rock

Saintpaulia sp. 'House of Amani'

Saintpaulia sp. 'House of Amani' (2)

Saintpaulia sp. Robertson (grandifolia?)

Saintpaulia tongwensis

Saintpaulia tongwensis

Saintpaulia velutina GS06

Saintpaulia velutina

Saintpaulia velutina (2)

Saintpaulia velutina (light)

Saintpaulia velutina var. Amazon


Saintpaulia 'Concord'
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Saintpaulia 'Firehouse'

Saintpaulia 'Heritage Frolic'
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Saintpaulia hybrid (blue and white)
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Saintpaulia hybrid (dark blue frosted)

Saintpaulia 'Picasso'

Saintpaulia 'Rhapsodie Rosalie'

Saintpaulia 'Rob's Moon Critter'
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Saintpaulia 'Teen Thunder'

Saintpaulia 'Tiny Blue'






More Reading:

  • Slippery

  • Sock

  • Sometime

  • Sour

  • Sow

  • Spade

  • Spill

  • Spoon

  • Stocking

  • Strap