Winter hardy to USDA Zones 9-10. Bush violet is typically grown in the U. S. as a warm weather annual. It performs well in humusy, consistently moist, well-drained soils in sun to shade. In hot summer areas including St. Louis, plants are best sited in sun dappled conditions, bright shade or afternoon shade. Do not allow soils to dry out. Sow seed indoors 8-10 weeks before last spring frost date or purchase spring starter plants in six packs from nurseries. Pinch plants back to encourage branching. Prior to first fall frost, some plants may be cut back, planted in small containers and brought indoors for winter flowering.
Browallia speciosa, commonly called bush violet, is a shrubby, woody based perennial of the nightshade family that is native to tropical South America. When grown as an annual, it will typically rise to 2’ tall. Tubular, 5-lobed, purple-blue flowers (to 2” wide) with white centers bloom singly or in small clusters in the upper leaf axils from late spring to fall. Ovate pale green leaves (to 3” long).
Genus name honors Swedish botanist and Bishop of Abo Johan Browall (1707-1755).
Specific epithet means showy.
No serious insect or disease problems. Aphids, leafhoppers and whiteflies may appear.
Containers. Hanging baskets. Mass or large groups in beds, borders and woodland gardens. Houseplant for bright, warm locations in winter.