Although I have never grown a streptocarpus, I do collect these generous plants after a fashion, by taking pictures of them and sharing my virtual collection here. Much of my material comes from Dibleys Nurseries’ award-winning displays at the major UK flower shows that attract me like a bee to honey. Their plants always look in wonderful condition, each flower jostling with its neighbour for our attention. Add in the variety of colours, patterns and forms and you have a flower photographer’s treat.
These plants are variations on a theme to show what today’s breeders have made possible: combinations of purple, cream and white with stripes, speckles and/or netting. Although I love double flowered roses, and find doubles like Streptocarpus ‘Blue Frills’ visually fascinating, the singles have more than enough character to capture my attention.
In fact, my favourites from this year’s display at the Southport Flower Show were both singles: Streptocarpus ‘Harlequin Delft’ and Streptocarpus ‘Bethan’. The former has bold, clear colours, its wavy-edged petals creating a beautiful ruffled effect; the latter is luminous and ethereal-looking, its primrose-style leaves almost smothered with flowers.
The great thing about having a virtual collection is that I don’t have to deadhead, water, tend or even choose. I can just admire their sheer flower power, each perfect plant frozen in time at the peak of its glory.
If you’d prefer to grow a real plant or two (and who could blame you?) I’ve read that they are straightforward to grow, given a suitable place to keep them. For more, check out my earlier post, or visit Dibleys Nurseries’ website where you can download their latest catalogue and find advice on how to keep them looking as good as these ones are.