Cape Primrose (Streptocarpus saxorum) in the Cape Primroses Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Cape Primrose
Give a thumbs up Streptocarpella
Give a thumbs up Cape Violet
Give a thumbs up False African Violet

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Plant Height: 6 inches
Plant Spread: 10 inches
Leaves: Evergreen
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Lavender
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Suitable Locations: Terrariums
Uses: Suitable as Annual
Propagation: Seeds: Needs specific temperature: 70-75 degrees F
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Tip
Cuttings: Leaf
Containers: Suitable in 1 gallon
Needs excellent drainage in pots


All About GesneriadsAll About Gesneriads
By threegardeners on August 3, 2011

The plants of this group are among the best houseplants for a constant stream of blooms and ease of growth. Do you grow Gesneriads? If so, please share your photos and experiences in the comments section after the article.

(Full article8 comments)
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Posted by bennysplace (Castle Rock, CO - Zone 5a) on May 23, 2013 9:16 PM

I have dubbed this the best houseplant to have. It can take all sorts of abuse and still thrive. If you underwater it, it droops a bit but hangs on. If you overwater it, I think it actually loves that because I can never seem to add enough water to my specimens. They drink it up quite happily. As far as propagation, all you need to do is pinch off a little stem, remove the bottom leaves, and stick it in continually moist soil (self watering African violet pots do the trick nicely). After a week, it grows new leaves and after a couple weeks, those infamous purplish-blue flowers appear. After a couple of months, you have a vigorous small plant ready for a new pot. It really is that easy. I have never seen a plant quite like this. Last summer, I inadvertently set one out in full sun and because it was out of view, it received no water. The leaves were gone, the stems were wilted, and I thought it was a goner. I took it in, cut it down to the dirt, kept the soil consistently wet, and it came back to life as if nothing had ever happened to it. If you do not have one, get yourself one. You will be glad you did. :)

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Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Aug 27, 2014 9:11 AM

Streptocarpus saxorum is a member of the Gesneriad family of plants. Its relatives include the African Violets (Saintpaulia species), Lipstick Plants (Aeschynanthus species), and many others. I find Streptocarpella to be a very easy plant that thrives in bright light or dappled shade. It makes a great annual in a shady part of the flower bed, as well as in a hanging basket, or as a container plant for the porch. Many grow Streptocarpella year round as an indoor houseplant, hanging in a bright window. Streptocarpella requires a well-draining potting medium and consistently moist (but not soggy) soil and thrives on high humidity. This plant has soft, velvety leaves, and if kept too dry, it will pout and get droopy, but it will immediately perk up once it's watered, as long as you don't let it sit and dry out for too long. Never subject this plant to direct sun or you will find very scorched leaves. There is no need to dead-head Streptocarpella as the spent flowers fall easily on their own. I love the graceful, arching habit of the plant hanging over the edges of the container and the pretty purplish-blue flowers that seem to attract hummingbirds! Although I've only grown the blue-flowering varieties over the years, there are varieties of S. saxorum with white flowers, as well as pink. Streptocarpella is very easy to propagate by taking stem cuttings, removing the lower leaves, and placing the stems in a moist potting medium in a shady location.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Blue flower ID please by Southamerica Aug 31, 2019 10:20 AM 4
Houseplant by unkveg18 Jun 20, 2018 7:46 AM 1
Banner for June 1, 2018 by Fleur569 by Fleur569 Jun 2, 2018 9:25 PM 8
Last limbs by NatalieR May 14, 2018 7:50 AM 1
Anyone know this annual? by CoryPup Jan 9, 2018 10:54 PM 3
Winter into Spring 2017 by dyzzypyxxy Jul 18, 2017 2:01 PM 139
July Backyard Birds by plantladylin Aug 1, 2014 2:19 PM 243
Nectar plants for butterflies and hummingbirds by purpleinopp Jan 19, 2019 4:27 AM 25
What's in your Florida Garden? by dyzzypyxxy Oct 18, 2014 5:16 PM 1,574

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