If there was ever a popularity contest held for
flowering houseplants, the gesneriad family of plants would win hands
down. This family includes the all-time, most-popular house plant,
the African violet.
is an indoor plant prized for its clusters of colorful flowers held
atop soft, felty leaves. It blooms nearly all year long, providing
colorful flowers even during the bleak days of winter. Many also have
attractive foliage that is as showy as its flowers. I grow dozens of
different African violets, many quite unique, and am amazed at the
wide range of colorful flowers and foliage there are.
Click on a plant photo below to order it from Pernell Gerver's Online Store.
African violets, hybridizers
have developed hundreds of different types with a large range of
flower color, shape, and size as well as leaf color. Flower color is
extensive and includes just about every color of the rainbow,
including green, with many variations and shades of colors.
Along with a wide variety of flower colors and markings, there are
also many different types of foliage within African
violets. Various shades of green are common, but it is not
the only color. Variegated forms are abundant and within the
variegation, there is a lot of variation.
Semi-miniature, miniature, and microminiature types are smaller
plants with tiny leaves. The smallest types often have leaves less
than a half inch long and grow well in pots the size of a thimble.
These diminutive plants are topped with clusters of brightly-colored,
miniature flowers. As with the standard types, semi-miniature,
miniature, and microminiature African violets
have a wide range of flower colors and shapes. There are single,
semi-double, and double flowers. Many also have attractive variegated
leaves with a variety of markings.
African violet types have
stems that cascade over the side of the pot, making them good
candidates for a hanging basket. Many are semi-miniature types with
small leaves and clusters of small flowers, but what they lack in
size they more than make up for in the abundance of leaves and
flowers. One of my favorite trailing types bears pure-white, double
flowers held above small, bright-green leaves.