Browallia speciosa, commonly known as Amethyst Flower is a tropical shrubby perennial that is native to Central and South America. Amethyst Flower grows well in sandy, clay or loamy soil at neutral to acidic soil pH. Normally, this plant is usually found in sunny or partly shaded areas such as open lots, pastures and dry regions at an elevation of 150-1200m (500-4000 feet).
This flowering plant produces beautiful blooms with a blue-violet shade, hence the popular name of “Amethyst Flower”- Amethyst flower meaning derives from this factoid too. Browallia flowers are also seen in a few other shades such as white and bright blue. Star-shaped and tubular, the flowers are 5-lobed and have a white center. They measure 2 inches in diameter on average and can bloom singularly or in clusters. Their leaves are ovate and pale green in colour.
At full growth, this shrub grows upto a height of 1-2 feet and can attain widths of upto 2 feet. Although the plant is botanically perennial, it is grown as a warm-weather annual and reaches full bloom in the summer-fall period.
What do Amethyst flowers symbolize?
The word “Amethyst” originated from the Greek term “Amethystos” which means “not intoxicating; not drunken”, i.e. referring to the spiritual belief that the purple Amethyst stone prevents the holder from getting drunk. Apart from the purple hue of the flower, this is another major correlation between the crystal and the plant – it denotes a certain degree of spirituality, wisdom and clarity. Besides this, Amethyst flower meaning also includes an indication of admiration.
The peppy bright hue of this flower is its main attraction. For example, hummingbirds take a particular affinity to the dazzling blue of Amethyst petals that stand out wonderfully amongst the green of underbrush. As a flower Browallia has connotations to clarity of mind, spiritual wisdom and soulful admiration. The Amethyst flower is a perfect foil for individuals who enjoy partaking in enriching activities such as yoga or meditation. This Amethyst flower meaning is further complimented by the various colours of bloom which are very soothing to the eye.
Amethyst Flower Care
The Amethyst Flower is grown in pots as well as in baskets and containers. Browallia has a very slim stalk, therefore support is sometimes required while growing in pots. If one chooses to opt for baskets, the Amethyst makes for very pretty, captivating climbers.
Light: In extremely hot climate, the Amethyst Flower should be in partial shade. In cooler temperatures, it can be exposed to direct sunlight. In the case of houseplants, Amethyst Flowers should ideally receive about 4 hours of sunlight a day.
Temperature: The optimum temperature for houseplants is 12-16°C (54-61°F). Temperatures that extend beyond 18°C (64°F) might reduce the life of the plant.
Water: It is important to keep the soil moist, ideally allowing the soil to dry out at the top between watering intervals. Excessive water causes fewer flowers and broad foliage.
Fertilizer: Standard liquid fertilizer is commonly applied every couple of weeks throughout the flowering period for houseplants. However, for gardening, if you start off with fertile soil, only moderate applications of any low-nitrogen fertilizer are required, preferably a few times during the growth season. Too much fertilizer, akin to excess water, also results in extra foliage and reduced bloom.
If the Amethyst Flower is being grown in a container, more regular fertilization is required depending upon frequency of watering.
Inorder to grow from seeds, seeds must be lightly pressed into soil (not too deep as they require light for germination) and make sure to keep the soil evenly moist. At an optimum temperature of around 75 degrees, seedlings should ideally emerge in 21 days.
There are no common diseases. Certain insects pests such as aphids, thrips, spider mites, leafhoppers, and whiteflies might be found on Amethyst Flowers. This can be regulated using insecticidal soap or white oil. Simply splashing water from a hose works if the infestation is not too serious and is manageable. Incase proper treatment is required, it is imperative to cover up leaf undersides as Browallia is very sensitive to chemicals in warm weather.
Common problems and fixes
- If watered excessively, the base of the plant begins to rot. Once this happens and the base of the stem begins to turn a shade of black, there is no method to save the plant and it must be discarded.
- If the habitat is too cold for the plant, leaves turn yellow. Inorder to prevent this, ensure that the plant is always kept in a position that provides it adequate warmth.
- If you notice the plant drooping, it is an indication of a lack of enough water. Water the plant regularly to avoid wilting.
The Amethyst Flower is available in the following cultivars for gardening/household décor:
- Bells are a trailing variety of the Browallia that produces purple, blue or white flowers. This is the perfect choice for hanging flower baskets.
- Blue Bells are blue-shaded flowers that reach heights of upto 12 inches.
- Major refers to erect, sturdy stems that are 18-24 inches long. These plants have violet flowers with a splotch of white at the throat.
- Silver Bells are the pristine white variant of Amethyst Flowers.
- Starlight is a denser, more compact version of the plant with flowers in purple, blue and white.
- Troll is a good choice for containers as it is thick, dense and rounded.
Amethyst Flower Meaning: the different colors!
The bright sapphire Browallia is an attention-grabber and is a perfect fit for garden arrangements and interior décor. It adds a pop of colour to any foliage it is placed in and adds a lively, playful aura to the space. This makes them sought after garden flowers as well as appropriate for pot culture.
Browallia elata (also known as Browallia americana) is another variant of the Amethyst which also sports blue-violet petals. However they are about half the size of the Browallia speciosa and are more suited to subtler settings such as display tables and teapoys.
Apart from the bright blue and blue-violet shades, the Amethyst flower also comes in a relatively subdued white colour. This is optimum for sophisticated garden arrangements or monochrome settings, and contributes an ambience of freshness and tranquility. Although a calmer colour, the white Browallia is a brilliant, snowy flower that is touted as the perfect “flower therapy”. It is a rebloomer and deadheading is not necessary, as well as extremely low maintenance like all Browallia variants.
Amethyst flowers are long-blooming, unfazed by heat and requires low maintenance – this makes it an excellent addition to landscapes. From a gardener’s perspective, these flowers are perfectly suited to compliment and elevate a flower arrangement with its benign cut and jewel-like countenance. Browallia can be considered for containers, baskets or as houseplants and can be a border plant too. It is also used in mass planting or large beds. The flowers create a breathtaking visual display as a potted specimen among foliage plants or a climber cascading down a wall.
Interesting facts and characteristics
· The genus name of the flower, Browallia, is an ode to the Swedish theologian, physicist, botanist Johannes Browallias, also known as John Browall. The name was decided by Carl Linnaeus, who is today known as the Father of Modern Taxonomy for his principles of binomial nomenclature. Carl wanted to honour his countryman, colleague and friend, Browall.
· The specific epithet “speciosa”, derived from Latin, has the meaning “showy” or “striking”. This is in reference to the bright colour of the Amethyst flower that immediately grabs eyeballs.
· The Amethyst flower is generally harmless to humans but can be toxic for dogs and cats. If symptoms such as excessive drooling, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, slow heart rate manifest, it indicates poisoning. This could also lead to death.
· This flower has a few other commonly used monikers such as Bush Violet, Lovely Browallia and Sapphire Flower.
· The Inga people from Macao, in the Putumayo department of South-west Columbia use leaves of Amethyst to alleviate pain caused by carious molars. They chew the leaves of Browallia and pack the resulting paste-like material around the affected teeth for relief.
· If planted in an assorted arrangement with Petunia species, Ipomoea batatas (Sweet Potato Vine) or Lobularia maritima (Sweet Alyssum), the Amethyst Flower makes for a mesmerizing sight!
· In hardiness zones 10 and 11, Amethyst flower can be sowed in pots for winter blooming. Begin with small pots and gradually move them into larger containers as they grow.
Best Time to Gift Someone Amethyst Flowers
As a warm-weather shrub that requires sun/partial shade, the best time for you to gift someone amethyst flowers would be at the onset of summer.
Amethyst flower meaning suggests a deep sense of admiration as well as spirituality. Thus means it would be a great gifting option for individuals who resonate with these character traits.
As an ornamental, the Amethyst flower is best fit for a household that boasts a landscape garden or interior plant décor. Gifting seeds or a potted version would be an amazing addition to a home garden. Another benefit of considering the Amethyst flower as a gifting option is that it allows the recipient to enjoy the beauty of full bloom in the summer to fall interval!