Exacum (or Persian Violet) is a small and neat plant which is only a few inches high when offered for sale. Its flowers, pale purple with a yellow center, are also small, but this plant still has several points in its favor. The blooms are abundant and fragrant, and the flowering season extends from mid-summer to late fall.

Keep reasonably cool and in good light. To ensure the maximum flowering period, pick a plant which is mainly in bud and not in full flower. The colors of flowers may be blue, purple, white. Raise Exacum affine from seed or buy as a pot plant. An easy-to-care-for plant but it does dislike draughts. Remove dead flowers regularly to prolong display.


Exacum affine is a compact annual plant with shiny, dark-green ovate leaves. The plants are naturally bushy, and when in flower are covered all over with small fragrant mauve or lavender-blue flowers, with a cluster of golden anthers in the center. The flowers are saucershaped and usually 6 – 13 mm across. Plants are freely available and should be bought when the first flowers are beginning to open; they should then give a continuity of bloom for two or three months.


Secrets of success

Temperature: Cool or average warmth – keep at 50°F – 70°F.

Light: Bright light – protect from hot summer sunlight.

Watering: Keep compost moist at all times. Reduce watering in winter. Misting is necessary.

Care after flowering: Plant should be discarded.

Propagation: Sow seeds in late summer.

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SEE ALSO:   Calliandra

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