Common Name(s): Ganges primrose, Chinese violet
Non-Native to Florida
Origin: India and Africa1
Introduction to Florida: circa 1930 (ornamental)2
This species appears on the following legally prohibited plant lists
UF-IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas
CATEGORY II on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council’s (FLEPPC) 2017 List of Invasive Plant Species
Download a page (PDF) from Identification and Biology of Nonnative Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas – Second Edition1
Excerpts from Langeland et al1 This plant forms weedy thickets along roadsides and is found in disturbed upland habitats in at least 11 conservation areas from south Florida (Gann et al. 2001). It can be very invasive in developed or natural landscapes (Rauch 1997). It is a successful colonizer that has invaded across a wide geographical range due to its fast establishment, rapid growth rate, and early flowering (Thye 1997). Adapted to a wide range of environmental conditions and tolerates drought, full sun to partial shade, direct exposure to salt spray, and a variety of soils (Rauch 1997). Reproduces by vegetative fragments and seed; flowers and sets fruit early in its life cycle (at 45 days), and can produce hundreds of explosive capsules per plant (Thye 1997).
Botanical Description: Trailing to erect, glabrous to lightly hairy, perennial herb to 3.3 feet tall with weak stems, rooting from the nodes. Leaves opposite, simple, ovate, to 3 inches long and 1.5 inches wide, petiolate; margins entire to slightly toothed. Flowers purplish-blue (sometimes yellow or white with dark purple streaks), to 2 inches long, arranged along one side of a long terminal spike; subtended by 5 linear-lanceolate, green sepals; petals hairy, fused at base to form a funnel-shaped tube with 5 rounded, spreading lobes; 4 fertile stamens. Fruit a hairy, club-shaped capsule to 1” long, containing 2-4 angular, gray seeds.
1. Identification and Biology of Nonnative Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas – Second Edition,
by K.A. Langeland, H.M. Cherry, et al. University of Florida-IFAS Publication # SP 257. 2008.
2. Strangers in Paradise, Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in Florida, Chapter 2: Florida’s Invasion by Nonindigenous Plants: History, Screening, and Regulation, by D.R. Gordon and K.P. Thomas, pp. 21-37. Island Press, Washington, DC, 1997.