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Saintpaulia, commonly known as African violet, is a genus of 6 to 20 species of herbaceous perennial flowering plants in the family Gesneriaceae, native to Tanzania and adjacent southeastern Kenya in eastern tropical Africa, with a concentration of species in the Nguru mountains of Tanzania. The genus is most closely related to Streptocarpus, with recent phylogenetic studies suggesting it has evolved directly from subgenus Streptocarpella. The common name was given due to a superficial resemblance to true violets (Viola, family Violaceae). Typically the African violet is a common household indoor plant but can also be an outdoor plant.