Saturday, October 4, 2014

Chirita? No. Primulina

Yes, it is annoying when the powers that be change plant names. Chirita, another African violet relative, is now Primulina. Don't ask me why. I just bought one a couple years ago and guess what? It is still alive! Yahoo! I can't say the same for the African violets I bought at the same time. The picture below is the one I bought. It blooms regularly for me.

Primulina 'Crossroads'

Primulina 'Crossroads'

Primulina 'Destiny'
 The Primulina above is the one I bought a couple of weeks ago. I just love the foliage, so wouldn't care if it didn't bloom. On line it says that it will have a blue flower. I'm sure it will be beautiful.

Primulina dryas 'Hisako'
The 'Hisako' was taken at the national convention here in Detroit in 2012. Love this foliage.

Primulina 'Patina'

The picture above was taken at the Ohio show in 2011 and at that time they were Chiritas. I've read that the name changed in 2011, so it must have been after this.
Primulinas are native to Sri Lanka, India, China, and SE Asia. Their care is pretty much the same as for African violets. I find that they are even easier. Because of their thicker leaves, they are more drought tolerant. I have mine on the same light stand as my violets, which receive 12 hours of light per day. Plus, they aren't fussy about humidity, probably because of those same thick leaves. They also prefer to be snug in their pots, like violets. I have 2 of these plants now, but will be adding more to my collection.
Hopefully, I've persuaded you to start your collection.


  1. Not all chiritas became primulinas. Some of them went to other genera like Henckelia and Microchirita. The rosulate species that became primulinas, like the ones in your post, occur only in southern China and northern Vietnam, nearly always on limestone. These are generally the easiest of the former chiritas to grow, and are very tolerant of underpotting, underwatering, and underfertilization. In fact they will often bloom best if somewhat mistreated--making them ideal houseplants!

  2. Thanks so much for the information! I appreciate it.

  3. I happen to have 3 baby Hisako plants that grew from a leaf that I was given at the African Violet Convention in Nashville last year. If you'd like one I can try shipping before it gets too cold. Would you like to trade for a leaf of your Buckeye irresistible?

  4. I tried to post yesterday but it's lost in cyberspace. I have 3 baby Primulina HIsakos from a leaf that was given to me at the AV convention in Nashville last spring. I can send one if you're interested. Would you like to swap for a leaf of your Buckeye Irrestiable?

    1. I don't have the Buckeye Irresistible. That was taken at a friend's home. Sorry.

  5. How can i post a pic of my large primulina hisako?

  6. How can I post a pic. I have a primulina hisako.