Virtual Streptocarpus Collection

Purple flowers with creamy lower petals
Streptocarpus ‘Gold Dust’

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. 

Streptocarpus with fancy, frilly flower form
Streptocarpus ‘Blue Frills’

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.

Streptocarpus with creamy lower petals, streaked purple
Streptocarpus ‘Harlequin Delft’

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.

Pretty single flowers with netted and striped pattern
Streptocarpus ‘Bethan’ with coleus

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.

Streptocarpus, coleus, begonias and ferns
Display of plants by Dibleys Nurseries at The Southport Flower Show

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.

30 Replies to “Virtual Streptocarpus Collection”

  1. I did not know anyone grew those anymore. I have not seen them since the late 1980s. Those that I remember where not as interesting as your are.

    1. Streptocarpus ‘Harlequin Blue’ was The Royal Horticultural Society’s Plant of the Year not that long ago. I’m not sure that makes them trendy, but the award is quite prestigious in the UK plant world.

      1. Oh, well, we have . . . different standards.
        Plants that are popular in Britain work better in the Pacific Northwest, New England and the East

  2. I absolutely agree with your take on the virtual garden: what a way to avoid deadheading! Not to mention that, as you say, the flowers are always at their peak. These are real show-offs, aren’t they? With good reason, though.

    1. Every plant breeder would say their plants are easy to grow, which I suppose they all are when you understand their likes and dislikes and can provide the conditions they need. Dibleys do have very thorough care advice online.

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