Episcia cupreata

Common Name: flame violet 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Gesneriaceae
Native Range: South America
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Scarlet red to orange with yellow throat
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: High
Suggested Use: Annual, Ground Cover
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Heavy Shade


In the tropics, flame violet can be grown as a ground cover or used as bedding plants. In temperate regions, they need greenhouse culture and are often grown as hanging baskets. Episcia cupreata need plenty of light but cannot tolerate the strong rays of the sun. Water with moderation in the summer and sparingly in winter. Let the soil dry in between waterings. Flame violets need high humidity but cannot tolerate water on their leaves. Fertilize every 2 weeks in summer with a balanced diluted fertilizer. The best time to repot is in March using a well-drained, high-organic matter media with small gravel added to increase drainage. In cooler climates, this is a difficult plant to over-winter in lower light conditions, but cuttings can be easily taken in late summer.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Episcia cupreata has oval, wrinkled, green leaves flecked with copper and purple underneath with orange-red flowers with yellows in the axils; the lobes may be fringed. Flame violet has a definite creeping habit.

Genus name comes from the Greek word episkios meaning shaded for the natural habitat of these plants.

Specific epithet means coppery or copper-colored.


Fungal leaf spots, stem blights and root rots are potential disease problems. Watch for aphids and mealybugs. Leaf margins turn brown from low humidity and too dry conditions. Too much full, direct sun can cause leaf scorch.


In its native area, it is an evergreen, creeping perennial. In cooler climates, its trailing form makes them excellent for hanging baskets.