Here's a shot of a handsome 'Party Boy'! Did you know that streps are primarily found in Africa and Madagascar? It will be interesting to see where hybridizing takes the Streptocarpus in the near future because of all the variation in the species plants.
Some of the species streps are unifoliate, or have only one leaf. Some are very similar and tend to grow one to three leaves, but unlike the former, these will be perennials and continue to grow even after flowering and fruiting.
A third form of Streptocarpus is called rosulate. This is the one we might be most fimiliar with because many of the modern hybrids come from stock that includes S. rexii.
Although Streptocarpus don't "branch" as we tend to think of it, there is a fourth sort of strep that produces multiple leaves from a lengthened central base that is capable of producing "secondary" leaves that also are able to bloom. It's sort of intermediate between what we think of as a strep with no "stems" and a regular vegetative plant that develops a branching habit.
The subgenus of Streptocarpus, called Streptocarpella, display yet another form of growth from the one cotyledon which continues to grow, a characteristic feature of the entire genus. (One cotyledon grows while the other withers and dies shortly after germination although it is a fully dicotyledenous plant.) Streptocarpella leaves start as a vegetative bud on the root system and branches in the normal way. In other words, we have everything from rosette plants with no obvious stems to regular branching herb-type plants with more normal leaves. This leaves a great deal of interesting possibilities for hybridization.
Does anyone want to try some strep hybridizing? What would you use for parent plants? What traits would you like to see expressed in future flowers??? Let us know.