Streptocarpus

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Streptocarpus

 

(cape primrose), a genus of perennial herbaceous plants of the family Gesneriaceae. The stem is short and erect; sometimes it is extremely reduced, with a basal rosette of elongate-oval leaves or with a single leaf. The flowers, which are solitary or in inflorescences, have five sepals. The corolla has an elongate tubule with a double-lipped limb; it is white, light blue, violet, or various shades of pink. The fruit is a linear capsule that is spirally twisted. The seeds are very small.

There are about 100 species, distributed mainly in southern and tropical Africa and on Madagascar. Many species are grown in greenhouses as ornamentals. The most common single-leaved species is S. wendlandii, and the most common species with a rosette of leaves is S. rexii. The latter has been used to create numerous hybrids.

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