Saintpaulia Ionantha (African Violet)
(Gesneriaceae) origin: tropical F. Africa
One of the most popular flowering house plants, although it is a difficult subject in winter. When grown from seed, the oval leaves form a flattish rosette with the flowers in a raised central cluster, but when propagated from leaf, the leaves often grow in many directions from several crowns, with flowers between. The leaves vary considerably in size according to variety, but on a 3-in. stem they are usually about 2-1/2 in. long and nearly 2 in. wide.
The most popular flower colours are violet-blue, pink, and white. Pinch out the flowers as they die off, and keep the plant almost dry for a period of four to six weeks until more flower buds appear, then return to normal watering. This method will produce several flowerings in a season.
Always use tepid, soft water, and lilt the leaves gently before pouring the water on to the soil in the pot. If water touches the leaves, it will cause unsightly marks. Saintpaulias quickly succumb tobut do well if plunged, in their pots, into a container of moist . A minimum temperature of 55° F. (13° C.) and a shaded position are essential.