Highlights from 2010 African Violet Show

WHAT FUN I HAD attending the Capital District African Violet Society’s annual show in Guilderland, New York, this weekend. One of the first plants to grab my attention there was ‘Ma’s Blue Spinner,’ pictured up top. This chimera, grown to perfection by Margaret Califano, has sumptuous, semi-double blue-purple blooms, and handsome, medium-green leaves edged in cream. Would you like to see other award-winning plants and flower-arrangements exhibited at the show? Here they are, in a click-to-enlarge photo gallery:

Saintpaulia ‘Goluboi Tuman,’ another triumph for Margaret Califano, sports a lavish bouquet of ruffled, fully-double, white blossoms splashed with blue.

Beautiful too is ‘Granger’s Wonderland’ with semi-double, light-blue flowers. This plant was grown by Helen Tanski.

Here, and yet-again masterfully-grown by Margaret Califano, is ‘Rob’s Boolaroo.’ This trailing African violet positively sparkles with light-pink flowers that are heavily peppered with blue.

One of 20 confirmed species from the Usambara Mountains, ‘Orbicularis’ has small, medium-blue flowers with a deep-blue center. This fine specimen was grown by Margaret Califano.

Also on display were flower arrangements featuring saintpaulias. The following designs are thoughtful variations on the show’s theme: “African Violets Rock: A Geological Exploration:”

Suzannah Sulzman arranged fern, pussywillow, eucalyptus and a red saintpaulia in an earthen pot for a sculpture in “Clay.”

Margaret Califano used a palm frond, yew and blue and white saintpaulia set between stones to make this delightful “Earthquake.”

Andrea Freeman composed “Fossils” from pine, pussywillow, fern, and the lustrous blue S. ‘New Year’s Celebration.’

Set against pale-blue fabric, Dorothy Raymond used silver curly ting, yew, and the blue and white S. ‘Pretty Miss Kelly’ to make an effective portrait called she calls “Heavy Metal.”

A black background, a black vase, pussywillow, small evergreen sprays, crimson grass and a scandalous, scarlet saintpaulia make for high drama in Kathy Schnurr’s “Volcano.”

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Related Posts:
‘Tis The Season for Saintpaulia
African Violets: My Easy, Always-In-Bloom Program
African Violets: Divide & De-Sucker for Better Flowering
Seven Ways To Beautiful Houseplants


  1. Janis in Chicago says:

    Kevin, thanks for taking us on this cyber-trip! I love AVs!!! What a treat to see them expertly-grown (unlike my own plants).

  2. Gardenlady says:

    Holy cow – all of the flower arrangements are amazing. I especially love the red-on-black “Volcano.” It looks like the judges did too, based on all the ribbons!

  3. I just clicked on your blog in hopes of finding something to relieve the gloomy weather outside. I was not disappointed! Beautiful plants and arrangements.

  4. Kevin, can you ID that “scandalous, scarlet” AV in the volcano display? I wonder if it is a Lyndon Lyon plant.

  5. Wow. I step away for an hour, and what do I find? Four comments! Greetings, all!

    Yolanda – I do not know the name of the red violet. But Dorothy Raymond, from the Capital District African Violet Society, surely will. She said she'd check in with us today…

  6. Kevin, thanks for posting these photos. I almost feel like I was there!

    Would you believe I didn't even get to the Flower & Garden festival? Too damn cold!

  7. I love how the eucalyptus in “Clay” resembles a “shadow” of the pussy-willow. Very enchanting.

  8. Isabella says:

    Some of the pictures are missing. Is it my computer or is there something going on with google?

  9. Isbella – Welcome. Google has announced an image-loading problem. Hopefully this will be fixed very soon!

  10. Isabella says:

    Images are showing up now, and they are all beautiful!

  11. Anne Schomaker says:

    Thanks soooooooooooooooo much. They are wonderful photos!!!!!

  12. Hi Kevin! Hi Anne! Kevin, the photos look wonderful indeed. Anne, looking forward to going to a Mets game with you this year.

  13. Kevin, I have Saintpaulia 'Goluboi Tuman'. It is a king among the standards. 18 months after receiving it as a tiny plant from Lyndon Lyon, its leaf span has grown to at least a foot in diameter! No kidding!

  14. Dorothy Raymond says:

    Hello everyone. Kevin took some great pictures. The violet show was a lot of fun and I look forward to it every year, especially after it's over. To Yolanda, I believe the red violet in the Volcano design is 'Red Rocket', one of Lyndon Lyons new for 2010 varieties.

  15. Thank you, Dorothy. I'm going to order the plant.

  16. Hi, Kevin. There is an AV club that meets not far from here. I've been tempted to join, but I'm not sure that I can raise such splendid plants. Is it worth joining anyway? I'd like to find out about new cultivars.

  17. Adele – join your local African violet club, and believe me, you will learn how to “grow for show.”

    You might like to join the (national) African Violet Society, too. Then you will receive their nifty magazine, which features, on occasion, articles by me!

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