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Saintpaulia 'Opera's Juliet'

(African Violet)

Common Names

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Common Names in English:

African Violet


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Family Gesneriaceae

Herbs, shrubs , or rarely trees . Leaves opposite or rarely alternate, whorled or basal, rosette forming; exstipulate ; usually simple , rarely shallowly to deeply lobed , pinnately or rarely palmately veined. Inflorescences usually cymes, rarely racemes , axillary , often near apex and appearing terminal ; usually pedunculate . Flowers perfect , zygomorphic, seldom actinomorphic . Calyx actinomorphic, rarely zygomorphic; usually (4 or) 5-divided. Corolla gamopetalous, zygomorphic, rarely actinomorphic; usually 2-lipped. Fertile stamens 2 or 4, then often didynamous , rarely 5, epipetalous ; anthers free or coherent, thecae 2, parallel, divergent, or divaricate ; staminodes 1-3 or absent. Disc ringlike to cupular, rarely absent. Ovary superior in all Old World taxa [half inferior, or inferior], 1-loculed; gynophore seldom present; placentas (1 or) 2, parietal , rarely 2-loculed, placenta 1 per locule and axile ; ovules numerous , anatropous . Style 1; stigmas 1 or 2. Fruit usually capsular , loculicidal, septicidal , or circumscissile, rarely a berry, indehiscent. Seeds numerous, fusiform to ellipsoid or ovoid , minute, sometimes with appendages at 1 or both ends, with or without endosperm; embryo straight, cotyledons equal or unequal after germination.

About 133 genera and 3000 species: Africa, Central and South America, E and S Asia, S Europe, Oceania; 56 genera (25 endemic) and 442 species (354 endemic) in China.

A few foreign well-known ornamental species are cultivated in China, including the florist's gloxinia, Sinningia speciosa (Loddiges) Hiern, and African violet, Saintpaulia ionantha Wendland.

The two ovary carpels may each produce a stigma; these stigmas are fused into a single structure. Some students of Gesneriaceae have considered the stigma to be single and either simple (capitate) or 2-lobed, whereas others consider each of the two stigmas as units . We have maintained the latter usage , but a family-wide investigation of stigma development is needed. The distinction can be blurred, however, because the stigmas may be completely fused into one with a capitate apex (as in Didymocarpus) or one of the two carpels or stigmas may be aborted resulting in a single stigma that may or may not be 2-lobed.[1]

Physical Description

Flowers: Flower Color: blue-violet


Size: 6-12" tall.


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Soil: Minimum pH: 6.1 • Maximum pH: td valign="top" align="right ">


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Similar Species

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Members of the genus Saintpaulia

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 390 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus. Here are just 100 of them:

S. ionantha (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Balboa Blaze' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Bertha' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Blackie Bryant' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Blue Beacon' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Bob Serbin' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Buckeye Butterflies' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Chicago Flair' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Classic Rock' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Kid Karla' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Magic Charms' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Optimara EverLove' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Optimara Little Moonstone' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Optimara Little Rose Quartz' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Prancing Pony' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Rebel's Midnight Sky' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Red Fire' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Rob's Fuzzy Navel #8735' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Rob's Whodunit' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Shocking' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Strawberry Sundae' (African Violet) · S. ionantha 'Summer Coral' (African Violet) · S. teitensis (African Violet) · S. 'Aca's Coral Lagoon' (African Violet) · S. 'Aca's Esther' (African Violet) · S. 'Aca's Flying Free' (African Violet) · S. 'Aca's Green Machine' (African Violet) · S. 'Aca's Ms. Plum' (African Violet) · S. 'Aca's Nichol' (African Violet) · S. 'Aca's Puff Ball' (African Violet) · S. 'Aca's Red Ember' (African Violet) · S. 'Aca's Rosy Outlook' (African Violet) · S. 'Aca's Snow Queen' (African Violet) · S. 'Aca's Sparkle' (African Violet) · S. 'Aca's Wewonchu' (African Violet) · S. 'Aeolian Wasp' (African Violet) · S. 'Alabama Ii' (African Violet) · S. 'Alamo Folly' (African Violet) · S. 'Alamo Frills' (African Violet) · S. 'Alamo Glow' (African Violet) · S. 'Alamo Gold Rush' (African Violet) · S. 'Alicefi' (African Violet 'alicefi') · S. 'Allegro Apalachian Trail' (African Violet) · S. 'Allegro Apple Blossom' (African Violet) · S. 'Always Pink' (African Violet 'always Pink') · S. 'Aly's Rosy Baby' (African Violet 'alys Rosy Baby') · S. 'Ami Felicion' (African Violet) · S. 'Anastasia' (African Violet) · S. 'Angel Choir' (African Violet) · S. 'Angel's Reflection' (African Violet) · S. 'Apache Beauty' (African Violet) · S. 'Apache Brave' (African Violet) · S. 'Apache Celebration' (African Violet) · S. 'Apache Dynamo' (African Violet) · S. 'Apache Redcoats' (African Violet) · S. 'Apache Showoff' (African Violet) · S. 'Apache Warbonnet' (African Violet) · S. 'April in Paris' (African Violet) · S. 'Arapahoe' (African Violet) · S. 'Atlanta' (African Violet) · S. 'Aubergine' (African Violet) · S. 'Avalanche' (African Violet) · S. 'B-Man's Alessio' (African Violet) · S. 'B-Man's Caltanisetta' (African Violet) · S. 'B-Man's Comiso' (African Violet) · S. 'B-Man's Delia' (African Violet) · S. 'B-Man's Etna' (African Violet) · S. 'B-Man's Irish Red' (African Violet) · S. 'B-Man's Melila' (African Violet) · S. 'Baker's Pink Star' (African Violet 'baker's Pink Star') · S. 'Bashful' (African Violet) · S. 'Becky' (African Violet) · S. 'Beethoven' (African Violet) · S. 'Black Ace' (African Violet) · S. 'Bloomlovers's Clown' (African Violet) · S. 'Bloomlover's Freckles' (African Violet) · S. 'Bloomlover's Prince' (African Violet) · S. 'Bloomlover's Shadow' (African Violet) · S. 'Bloomlover's Snowflake' (African Violet) · S. 'Bloomlover's Spirit' (African Violet) · S. 'Blue Boy' (African Violet) · S. 'Blue Dragon' (African Violet) · S. 'Blue Mink' (African Violet) · S. 'Blue Tail Fly' (African Violet 'blue Tail Fly') · S. 'Blue Wasp' (African Violet) · S. 'Blushing Ivory' (African Violet) · S. 'Blushing Trail' (African Violet 'blushing Trail') · S. 'Boogie Nights' (African Violet) · S. 'Bourane' (African Violet) · S. 'Bridal Lace' (African Violet) · S. 'Brilliant Excuse' (African Violet) · S. 'Broadway Star' (African Violet) · S. 'Buckeye Blissful' (African Violet) · S. 'Buckeye Blithe Spirit' (African Violet) · S. 'Buckeye Blue Indigo' (African Violet) · S. 'Buckeye Bouquet' (African Violet) · S. 'Buckeye Boysenberry' (African Violet) · S. 'Buckeye Bravado' (African Violet) · S. 'Buckeye Candy Striper' (African Violet) · S. 'Buckeye Cherry Freckles' (African Violet)

More Info

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Further Reading

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  1. Wencai Wang, Kai-yu Pan, Zhen-yu Li, Anna L. Weitzman & Laurence E. Skog "Gesneriaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 18 Page 244. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
Last Revised: 2/1/2015