There are three main types of African violet: rosette, trailing, and variegated.
Modern hybrids of African violets have a wide size range across a single crown when fully mature, so much so that classification of size has come into being over the years. It is important that plants are correctly sized, especially when taking part in competitive exhibition. There are four main size ranges, and these are termed miniature, semi-miniature, standard and large.
Other than in the variegated hybrids, the upper surface of African violet leaves comes in all shades of green from very pale through to very dark, almost black, green. Similarly, the color of the lower surface may range from almost white through to pale green, to pink, to very dark red. The red pigmentation is due to the presence of anthrocyanins in the leaves which may be natural in the hybrid or can be produced during adverse growing conditions. Variegated foliage appears in all the previously described types of leaf. It can be of white on green, or cream, yellow, tan, pink or red in any combination on green, and is seen solely on the upper surface of the leaves. It is so attractive in a well grown African violet that in periods of rest from flower production the plant may look just as beautiful. In these cases flowering becomes an added bonus. Very often several of these leaf types will appear in the foliage of a plant, such as in an ovate, scalloped, wavy variegated leaf or a serrated, spooned, pink-backed leaf.