(ee-piss' cee-ah)

Common name: Flame Violet, Episcia

Family: Gesneriaceae, Gesneriad

Height x width: 4-6" x indefinite trailing or hanging

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: opposite, oblong, velvety hairy, often puckered, 2-5" long, colorful, in rosettes or whorls, often copper-green in species; usually grown for foliage with flowers a bonus

Flowers: narrow tubes with 5 perpendicular lobes (salverform) 2-3" long; generally reds, oranges, yellows in axils; lobes may be fringed

Light: bright to moderate

Temperature: average to warm

Watering: moderate

Fertility: moderate

Humidity: humid

Soil: well-drained

Pests and Problems: fungal leafspots, stem blights and root rots, aphids, mealybugs; leaf margins turn brown from low humidity and too dry, leaves scorch in full direct sun; die back if too much water or little air circulation

Growth habit, uses: hanging, groundcover indoors, terrarium

Other interest: native to South America; from the Greek episkios meaning shaded, refering to their natural habitats

Other culture: avoid overwatering; benefit from supplemental lighting in winter

Propagation: stem or tip cuttings with bottom heat, division of offshoots, layering, seeds


Of the 7 species, the following two are most common with cultivars.

cupreata (cu-pree-ah' tah)--elliptic, toothed, coppery leaves, purple beneath, 3-4" long; red or yellow flowers in axillary racemes

lilacina (lie-lah-cee' nah)--ovate, scalloped, coppery leaves, purple beneath, 2" long; white flowers with lavender-blue throats in axillary racemes


Of the several hundred cultivars, the following are common and representative.
Cultivar species flowers foliage
'Acajou' cupreata orange-red dark tan netted silvery green
'Cuprea' lilacina blue, white copper, silver midribs
'Fire N' Ice' hybrid orange-red green, silver markings
'Metallica' cupreata bright red copper, central silver band, pink margins
'Moss Agate' hybrid scarlet bright green, etched silver
'Pink Panther' hybrid rose-pink lime green to 5" long
'Pink Ric Rac' hybrid red dark bronze etched pink
'Silver Sheen' cupreata yellow-red silvery-gray, copper margins, crinkled
'Silver Skies' lilacina red green, silvery centers
'Tropical Topaz' cupreata bright yellow pale green

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

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