Life’s mysteries solved! Uh, one anyhow.

If I told you I have a streptocarpella, what would you think?

That it's a throat disease and I'd better get to a doctor? A computer injury and I'd better sue the employer? A new breed of genetically altered pet reptiles?

Um, none of the above.

It's the potted purple puzzle plant that I pulled from the wheelbarrow behind the conservatory a couple weeks ago. Mystery solved!

I'd been hitting stores that sell plants with a leaf in my pocket to identify it and so far, nada.

Yesterday I revisited the very beautiful little conservatory in the park near my home. They had the same plant on display and for sale, so I asked the lady in the gift shop whether she knows what it is.

She could do me better than that. She handed over a sheet with its name and basic care. Yahooo!!!! Now the chances of me not killing it, of it surviving, have increased greatly, if not exponentially. (I also continue to research its care online.)

Thus: the streptocarpella. (Remember, no camera, these are off the Net.)

The leaves are textured and velvety, like an African violet's

The blooms (they really are hard to describe):

A closeup of a bloom:

My plant looks something like this:

They can grow quite lush and thick like this:

And hang like this:

By the way, do you know the common name for the streptocarpella? False African Violet. Gee, how'd you like to go through life with that name? "Hi {extends spindly stem}. I'm False African Violet. And my buddy over there, he's the real one."

For once I might actually prefer using its scientific name: streptocarpella. I read one person refer to it as "nodding violets." I like that.

My plant's alive and sprouting new leaves. So far so good!

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