African Violet or Saintpaulia Ionantha is a native flower in East Africa. It’s commonly known for its colorful crowns surrounded by lush foliage.
An African Violet can grow from 8–16 inches depending on its type and variety.
Being a collector’s favorite, its vibrant flowers that bloom all year long can add a mystical charm to any space and are low maintenance too.
To know which African Violet suits your space, check out its variations below.
Currently, there are 16,000 variations of African Violets that can either be a rosette or trailing.
Rosettes grow from a single root system that develops into a crown at the center— surrounded by foliage that seemingly grows in a pattern.
On the other hand, trailing African Violets look fuller because their crowns and leaves are from different root systems. Their flower growth is scattered on top of cascading leaves.
African Violets are known for their signature violet flowers and velvety leaves. However, they’re further classified by the characteristics of their petals.
Single African Violets have five petals, three below and two top petals. They look like mini versions of orchid flowers.
Semi-Double African violets are known for curling tiny buds at the center. Those buds sit atop 5–10 petals.
Double African Violets usually have 10 full petals. They sometimes cover the flower’s anthers.
From its name, Frilled African Violets are characterized by their petals’ frilly edge. They can also be single, semi, or double in type.
Fluted African Violets are distinct for their quirky petals that curl inwardly. They also sometimes don’t open fully.
If the fluted ones stand out for their irregularities. Star African Violets have five even petals that are equally spaced.
Wasp African Violets also have five petals. Though they don’t bloom fully, making them look smaller.
Like a cup, this African Violet opens just right to form a deep core. Its pistils are often covered by its petals.
Bell Shaped African violets also open narrowly like the cup-shaped ones. But the direction to which is mostly downward, making it look like a bell.
African Violets come in an array of colors. They range from the deepest violets to reds, pinks, and whites. Here are 20 of those varieties:
If you want to get a whiff of a nostalgic season, you might want to add the Aroma of Summer to your collection. Like its scent, its delicate pink and white petals could complete your mornings.
Cherry Princess has fluted and vibrant fuchsia petals laced with white pigments. When its crown is full, you’ll surely have the perfect centerpiece for your tea table.
Crimson Ice holds beauty in its contrasting pigments of pure white and melting crimson red. Its color combination will leave you with a delicate yet mischievous impression.
Diamond Tiffanys are semi-double and frilled African Violets. Their petals are yellow-white and sometimes have light green pigments in summer.
Also, a frilled semi-double, Highschool Sweetheart’s bubble gum pink petals are laced with white edges. This variant is an emblem of youthful affection.
If you’re looking for a mellow touch in your space, Julia’s soft white petals are for you. This subtle flower is sometimes laced with soft purples or pinks.
With its bold red star petals, Le Vega makes a statement. Its full crown sitting atop its dark green foliage will surely turn heads.
Like a little version of Le Vega, Little Maya’s charm lies in its burgundy single petals. Its dark petals contrast with its bright yellow pistils.
An all-stunner, Lonestar Storm looks like a star-petal version of Julia. What makes it distinct are its emerald leaves that lighten gradually on its edges.
Myakka Trail is a miniature variety with dark blue flowers. It blooms beautifully on its lush cascading trails.
A well-maintained Persian Prince has a full crown with single petals. They are available in various shades, ranging from true violet to periwinkle.
If you want to go all pink, RD’s gleam offers a range of subtle pinks. Adding to its playful look are its frilled star petals.
Fluted and frilled, the RS Vicomte is the definition of grandeur. Its flowers’ aesthetic is accentuated by its violet petals lined with white edges.
Playful and soft, Ruffle Romance is a show stealer with its lush and fluted powder pink flowers. It’s also distinct with its coined and white pigmented leaves.
Shamahanskya Queen isn’t called a queen for no reason. Its frilled star petals adorned by magenta in its core exude royalty and opulence.
Adding to the frilled variety is the simple yet playful Silver Romance. It has pale pink petals lined with light green edges.
Coming from the pink varieties, the Strawberry Wave’s gorgeous pattern of pigmentation is a dotted dark pink on a lighter base.
Summer Twilight looks like a single-petal version of RD Visconte. What makes it even more beautiful is its bigger flowers that look elegant when they’re close to each other.
A classic star-petal variety. It has white-colored petals adorned with circular violet pigments on its edges.
Zephyrs have white frilly star petals. What makes it stand out is its pink lines stretching from its core to its edges.
Although African Violets come in different varieties, you’d be surprised that more varieties are hard to come by and coveted by collectors.
These African Volets are rare in the market and expensive too. Some are even declared extinct but recently turned out to be not. Check them out below:
The Humako No Hame is a flower hybrid specifically cultivated and developed by a family of Dutch florists, the Gesnerievs.
It has a star and frilled white petals adorned by a dark violet pigment concentrated on its center. Humako comes from their company’s name and is put in every flower they have developed.
Sequoias look like a bouquet with round and rose-like flowers. It also comes in colors like deep violets, pinks, and whites.
The new variety, a combination of baby pink and white marbling, is quite expensive and very limited.
This variation has a full crown of powder pink semi-double petals. But what makes it unique is its mottled leaves, with dark green patterns on a light green base.
Upon its release in 2019, only a few were able to get their hands on ones that have mottled leaves. Most of the time, this variety has dark leaves.
Chimeras have star petals. Their pinwheel shape is available in color combinations (white-pink, pink-violet. tricolor).
Its ‘hand-painted like’ petals are lovely to look at, but getting these color combinations requires a meticulous process.
Generally, African Violets can be reproduced through cuttings, but to get the beautiful colors of a chimera, you must propagate a sucker growing from the main root system.
If you grow it from a cutting, it will only produce a white petal Chimera.
Native to Tanzania, the Streptocarpus Afroviola only grows in one area in Ukugru and Nguru Mountains.
Its enigmatic look is attributed to its deep violet petals highlighting its bright yellow pistils.
Like the Streptocarpus Afriovola, Saintpaulia Pusilla originated in Tanzania. Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire brought it to Germany from Africa.
It’s characterized by its small single-type petals and a periwinkle color. It’s also the smallest of its species and was labeled as extinct.
That was until Andre Evans, a traveler and plant enthusiast discovered that it still exists in a protected area in Tanzania.
Although relatively simple looking compared to other variations, what makes it unique is that all the species and variations of African Violets we know came from it.
African Violets are among the most interesting and ethereal flowering plants ever cross-bred. Aside from its fusion of colors, its varieties also present diverse petals and leaves.
It’s difficult to place all of the varieties in a single post as there are thousands of them, but the ones mentioned above should keep your interest sparked for now.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.