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University of Minnesota Extension

African violets

Quick facts

African violets (Saintpaulia ionantha) are low maintenance, easy to grow houseplants. They reliably bloom several times a year when cared for properly.

Native to Eastern Africa, these popular houseplants are in the same family (Gesneriaceae) as gloxinia and primrose.

‘Lovestruck’ has single lavender flowers with a violet ruffled edge

Plant characteristics

  • Size
    • Miniature / semi-miniature - less than 8 inches wide
    • Standard - 8 to 16 inches wide
    • Large - more that 16 inches wide
  • Plant form - round, mound, rosette
  • Flower colors - white, pink, maroon, blue, lavender, violet, deep purple
  • Flower shapes - single, semi-double, double, ruffled, star, wasp
  • Leaf shape - Round, heart-shaped, oval; fuzzy, velvety texture
  • Leaf color - Silvery-green, bright green, deep green; creamy white leaf edges


Growing African violets


African violet problems


Author: Julie Weisenhorn, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2024

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