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African violet: characteristics and care
Saintpaulia ionantha, better known as African violet, Usambara violet, or velvet violet, is a perennial herbaceous plant noted for its colorful and striking flowers. Its leaves are dark green, grow around the flowers, and have a velvety texture.
The scientific name is due to the fact that the German Baron Walter von Saint Paul St Claire found them at the end of the 19th century in the mountains of Usambara (South Africa). It is not surprising that since that time they have become very popular, as they are showy and brighten homes with their beauty.
Its popularity is so great that there are even societies for its study and preservation, such as the African Violet Society of America, which publishes, has memberships, finances research, and organizes conferences on this houseplant.
Characteristics of the African Violet
African violets can be found in multiple colors, including purple, lilac, blue, fuchsia, white, and pink. Its origin is Eastern Tropical Africa.
According to an article in the scientific journal Folia Horticulturae, there are 25 species in the genus Saintpaulia and the African violet is the most popular species. It had its development as a horticultural plant in the United States after World War II.
It is a tropical plant
Being native to southeast Africa, the African violet is a tropical plant that thrives in its natural habitat at temperatures above 20 degrees. Consequently, it is perfect for indoors and does not tolerate frost and low temperatures well.
Gives flowers throughout the year
The most valued feature of the African violet is its ability to flower all year round. Hence its high ornamental value.
However, she has short rest periods between flowering and flowering that last 4-6 weeks. Insufficient light is the main cause of not blooming.
It is a small plant
African violets are indoor plants that can be found in different sizes and colors, due to the handling and crosses that have been made with them. However, its standard size is 30 centimeters in diameter and it has about 5 flower stalks, from which 7 to 12 showy and colorful flowers emerge.
It is safe for pets
The good news is that these are plants that are not poisonous to dogs and cats, so you can have them with peace of mind if you are a pet owner.
7 necessary care for African violets
African violets are beautiful plants that brighten homes with their abundant and colorful blooms. Although it is an easy plant to maintain, there are certain cares that you must take into account so that it looks abundant and fresh.
1. Ensure good lighting
The African violet needs a very bright environment to develop properly. Ensuring correct sun exposure allows it to remain in bloom throughout the year.
However, it is not convenient for it to be directly exposed to the sun’s rays throughout the day. More than intensity, it requires light for a long time.
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