No Violet Left Behind?

April 18, 2011

IS THERE A 12-STEP PROGRAM FOR AFRICAN VIOLET ADDICTS? I only ask because yesterday, after struggling to find new quarters for the violets that lived on the fluorescent-lit shelves in my study (I needed the shelves for my big tomato sowing venture), I then drove to Albany, attended the Capital District African Violet Society’s annual show, and came home with…guess what?

Yep, more violets! Six, in fact, that I found too irresistible to leave behind (click photos to enlarge):

This one, ‘Orchid Trail’, is a semi-miniature trailer with double, orchid-colored blossoms. Trailers are noted for their myriad offsets which gracefully cascade over the pot.

When its buds open, ‘Lunar Eclipse’ will display double purple flowers edged in vibrant raspberry. The leaves are handsome too — medium green, quilted, and with a light ivory variegation on their edges.

Ever heard of a “space violet?” Optimara’s blue-flushed, green-edged ‘Evergrace’ is one. It descended from seeds that orbited earth for 6 years aboard one of NASA’s space shuttles. When the seeds were retrieved in 1990, certain mutations were observed, including extraordinary abundance of flowers, or “multifloresence,” which never stop blooming.

The burgundy blossoms of ‘Traces of Love,’ one of Lyndon Lyon’s hybrids, have red streaks that radiate from the yellow eye. Foliage is dark green with a red reverse.

When its buds open, ‘Rainy Day Lovin’ will dazzle with light pink, semi-double, blue-flecked stars. Can’t wait to see them.

Semi-miniature ‘Little Axel’ is a prolific bloomer with pansy-shaped, semi-double blossoms. The flowers are remarkable for the heavy blue thumbprint that defines each petal.

In truth, if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you already know about my saintpaulia addiction. You also know that I use the plants to adorn windows, light gardens (when veggies aren’t growing there), and centerpieces. Plus, The African Violet Society of America gave me an award for one of my articles. So who can blame me for adding a few more plants to an already-exuberant saintpaulia collection?

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Related Posts:
African Violets – My Easy, Always-In-Bloom Program
African Violets – Divide & Desucker for Better Flowering
The Window Garden in Autumn
‘Tis the Season for Saintpaulia
The Window Garden in February

Comments

  1. Katreader says:

    I can't blame you! I can see why you couldn't leave these guys-they're gorgeous! Now they have a wonderful new home!

  2. Katreader – well, I'm trying to give them a good home. They really prefer fluorescent lights, not windows, at this time of the year when strong sunlight can burn their leaves. Alas, I've given them a north window — just until my tomatoes and other seedlings which currently occupy the fluorescent shelves are planted outside.

  3. Eric says:

    Beautiful plants! How was the AV show?

  4. Sheila says:

    I had no idea that african violet seeds were sent into outer space. How cool is that???

  5. Eric – the AV show was fab! I took probably 40 photographs of plants and designs, but unfortunately the lighting there wasn't camera-friendly. Well, not friendly to my camera, anyway.

    Sheila – Yes, the story behind the space violets is pretty neat. Get one, if you can!

  6. Mary unruh says:

    So cool! Love evergrace especially …. I wonder if there is an AV show in Seattle or Portland?!

  7. Mary – Yes, that Evergrace is fascinating!

    The Seattle AV show was March 19-20. Can't find a date for the Portland show. Heidi over on FB might be able to answer…she's an official AV judge.

  8. Mary Unruh says:

    Thanks!!

  9. Technonana says:

    My friend bought a number of different colored african violets. She bought two of each color and gave one of each to me. Most were solid color when she bought them. The plants went through a dormant season but when they started blooming again, most of them were two-toned with white. Some had color on the edges and some were striped. What would have caused that?

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