African violets (genus Saintpaulia) grow endemicly in the forests of the Eastern Arc Mountains and the lowland forest fragments of coastal Kenya and Tanzania. In these forests, which are listed among the 25 global biodiversity hotspots (e.g. Myers 1988),the African violets occupy a special niche: they are restricted to grow in moist and shaded conditions on rocky outcrops, usually adjacent to rivers and streams.
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