Cape Primrose
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Cape Primrose
ntroduced Photo: Aarti Khale
Common name: Cape Primrose, Wild gloxinia, Twin sisters
Botanical name: Streptocarpus rexii    Family: Gesneriaceae (Gloxinia family)
Synonyms: Didymocarpus rexii

Cape Primrose is a medium-sized, stemless herb up, growing up to 15 cm tall, with a slender horizontal rhizome and a rosette of velvety, blunt- tipped, strap-shaped leaves that grow up to 30 cm long. Each leaf grows from the base of the plant, and is an individual plant with its own roots and inflorescence. The inflorescence forms at the base of the leaf and grows 20 cm high, usually bearing 1 or 2 flowers and rarely up to 6 flowers. The asymmetrical flowers are white or blue/pale violet, up to 7.5 cm wide. The flowering period lasts from spring until autumn. The fruit is a spirally twisted capsule about 13 cm long. When the capsule ripens, it twists open along two slits that release a mass of small seeds. Cape Primrose is native to South Africa.

Identification credit: Aarti Khale
Photographed in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu.
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