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African Violet or Distant Cousin?

Ask the Expert: What is my new plant?
In the African violet family same fuzzy leaves only they are more long and oval than round. Leaves are not very big. The violet itself blooms on the end of a wiry stem 4-10 inches long. Easy to grow. I would love to know the name of this plant. I really love it because it is a prolific grower and quite beautiful. I begged a slip from someone who also did not know the name. I would appreciate you help. Susan


Could your plant be a trailing African Violet? The Saintpaulia (African Violets) genus consists of 20 different species and over 2000 cultivars that look similar but can range from stemless plants with small elliptic hairy leaves clumps in rosettes to plants with extended stems with larger and oval shaped. My next guess would be Sinningia speciosa (Floirsts Gloxinias) which is a cousin to the African violet very similar but the Gloxinias do have a longer oval shaped leaves and the flowers do appear on stems. If you send me a picture I would have a better idea of what it is.


  1. Susan,

    If I were a betting man, I would bet on Gloxinia. Please keep me posted on blooming progress. The blooms should give us the answer we are looking for. Thanks

    I guess it is a good thing I’m Not a betting man. I pulled these three photos of plants related to African Violets from the African Violet Society of Canada. Maybe one of these will look familiar.


    Chirita sinesisChirita sinesis


  2. Susan Hamilton says:

    I was very happy to receive such a timely answer to my questions. I imediately went looking at Saintpaulia pictures but still could not find anything that looked exactly like what I have. My plant is small still and doesn\\\’t have any blooms but as soon as it does I will send a picture to show you. One thing that is different about this plant from my experience with african violets is that it grows so tall and branches all over. The flower stems are not fleshy at all like other violets but very wiry however, the plant stems are fleshy. Thanks for your help and I will keep looking until I have a picture to send you. Susan

  3. Susan Hamilton says:

    Hello again. I forgot to mention that my plant is definitely not a gloxinia so we can forget about that! Susan

  4. Streptocarpella saxorum would be my guess. We use it as a shade annual for hanging baskets and container gardens. Small fuzzy leaves blue violet like flowers on wirey 3-4″ inflorences.

    Attached Image: strep2.jpg

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