Episcia - Flame Violet, Lace Flower
DESCRIPTION: These creeping, tropical perennials are natives of Brazil, Colombia, Guinea, and Surinam. They make great plants for hanging baskets. E. lilacina has reddish-purple, velvety leaves and pale lilac or lavender flowers. E. reptans has puckered, brownish-green leaves that are marked with silvery green. They produce scarlet flowers that are fringed along the borders. E. dianthiflora, the Lace flower, is a beautiful plant with thick, oval, velvety dark green leaves that are toothed along the edge. The white flowers are tubular with fringed petals. The Lace Flower reaches a height of 4 inches. E. cupreata, the Flame Violet, has crinkly, thick, fuzzy, oval leaves that are purple with silver veins. The small, tubular flowers are scarlet with a yellow throat. This plant also grows up to 4 inches high. There are several others that will be described below in the varieties section.
POTTING: Episcias need a minimum temperature of 60 degrees, so in cool climates they will need to be grown indoors. They should be grown in loose, woodsy soil consisting of loam, peat moss, leaf mold and sand with a little crushed charcoal added. Their soil needs to be continuously moist while they are growing freely, but not waterlogged. They should be provided with a humid atmosphere. They should be placed in bright, indirect sunlight with shade from harsh summer sun.
PROPAGATION: In the summer, cuttings may be taken or seeds may be sown on the surface of the soil. Leaf cuttings and runners may also be used.
VARIETIES: F=flowers L=leaves
E. lilacina; E. cupreata; E. reptans; E. dianthiflora; Lady Lou (L. pink veins); E. Tropical Topaz (F. yellow).
Hybrids include: Acajou (L. fuzzy, marked w/ silver & brown); Chocolate Soldier (L. green & chocolate colored); Emerald Queen (L. hairy, emerald green); Frosty (L. bright green covered w/ silver hair & a broad midrib of silver); Harlequin (L. smooth greenish white w/ dark brown edges); Pinkiscia (L. dark brown, F. pink); Sylvan Beauty (L. smooth, silvery green w/ light brown perimeters); Westwood (L. silvery, hairy edged w/ medium brown).
Go see DICTIONARY OF BOTANICAL NAMES.
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