There are about 2,000 species of stemless, evergreen perennials, in the African violet family, in this genus. They occur in shaded, rocky habitats in the Balkans with 6 species native to Europe. They have basal rosettes of obovate, scalloped, dark green leaves, and loose umbels of up to 6 nodding, trumpet shaped, 2 lipped flowers, borne from spring to early summer. They are attractive plants for a wall, rock crevice, rock garden or alpine house.
Outdoors, grow in moist but well drained, acidic to neutral, gritty, humus rich soil in full or partial shade. Plant on their sides in vertical rock crevices to avoid an accumulation of moisture in the foliage rosett4es.. Protect from excessive winter moisture and cold, drying winds, and avoid root disturbance.
Prone to slugs and snails.
H. rhodopensis ‘Virginalis’ – This rosette forming perennial grows 4-6″ tall and 10″ wide. It produces spatula shaped, coarsely scalloped leaves, 1 1/4-3″ long, softly hairy above and beneath. From spring to early summer it bears umbels of pure white flowers, to 1″ across, with the lower 3 petals much larger tan the 2 upper petals.