Not An African Violet

Not An African Violet

Not An African Violet

Petrocosmea cryptica

At the African violet show and sale, African violets aren’t the only plants for sale. There are all kinds of gesneriads, as well as miniature terrarium plants, such as begonias. (I will show you pics of those later.) 
Above is the Petrocosmea I purchased at the show. I’ve always admired them, especially the foliage. They do bloom, as you can see from the following pictures, but I wouldn’t care if they never bloomed.

Petrocosmea forrestii
Petrocosmea

The plant to the right and above belong to my friend Alice, from the African violet club in my area.

Petrocosmea rosettifolia

I read that Petrocosmea rosettifolia is the same as my cryptica above. It has been renamed. This picture is from the Ohio show in 2011.

Petrocosmea

I’m not sure which one this is, but notice how the leaves curl up. They are very hirsute or hairy, as well.
So what are Petrocosmeas? They are gesneriads, related to the African violet. They grow in the mountainous areas of  China, Burma, and other regions of SE Asia. Petrocosmeas like cooler temperatures so I placed mine on the bottom shelf of my light stand. They grow among rocks and some even “on” rocks, so that conveys to me they need good drainage and shallow pots. They would also like over 50% humidity.  I placed mine on a mat watering system and will water them about once a week, wetting the mat. Growing them on the mats will greatly help with the humidity. If you look at the leaves, you can see they are quite succulent, so letting them dry out a bit between watering will be necessary. I think rotting will be the biggest problem if I have one.  I’m excited to finally own one of these and will keep you updated as to the progress, hopefully all good.

Petrocosmea winner at the Ohio show in 2011
Petrocosmea menghangensis
Petrocosmea rosettifolia
Petrocosmea minor


Notice how shiny this one is compared to the one below, but yet it is still hairy. This is such an interesting plant and with the succulent rosette form, reminding of the echeverias,  it should be more popular.

Petrocosmea ‘Short’nin’ Bread’

5 Responses to "Not An African Violet"

  • Hi Lisa,

    I’m excited to see you are growing Petrocosmea. I bought three a few months ago and they’re currently in little plastic shot glasses and are doing fine. I’m thinking about trying them in a terrarium. Have you had any experience with them in that environment?

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