Some Expensive African Violets on eBay

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As I do with a degree of frequency, I monitor eBay for chimera African violets I may want to purchase and on occasion any unusual non-chimera African violet that catches my fancy.  Well, a few months ago I saw a very high demand for two specific African violets that have brought to their respective sellers some quick cash.  On August 24th 2014 Blue Confetti sold for US $152.50.  That was one of the highest prices I saw a chimera African violet sold for on eBay in a long time. But in retrospect that was nothing.  On September 21st 2014 Lunar,  a non-chimera African violet sold for US $255.00!  Wow!  What is it that strikes a cord with collectors that they must have a specific African violet now?   The Blue Confetti is stunning and I was able to obtain it for much less then the original purchase by waiting a few months.  This bloom (above image) I believe will strike a cord with many violet growers and collectors.  It is exceptional.

I will be the first to admit my photographic skills are substandard.  As all the images on this site are original or if I was not involved in producing them I received permissions from the authors.  To that end as I have not received permission to post on my blog the original images I saw on eBay,  I am providing the links below that take you to Google Images where these pictures reside.  Click the links to see these exceptional African violets.  BLUE CONFETTI and LUNAR LILY WHITE.

 

The Ugliest Chimera African Violet Bloom?

 

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Several months ago I was going to post this as the ugliest chimera African violet bloom I ever grew or for that matter saw.  This was a sport  of Yukako.  I normally would discard the plant but was fascinated by the foliage which also appeared to exhibit a chimera pattern.  Long story short the plant bloomed again and this time produce much larger blooms (below).

Sport of Y

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As is evident in this bloom it appears the border of the bloom is black.  A closer view of the bloom below shows this more clearly, note the flower edges under letters  “A” and “B”.  Its black is most pronounced.

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Based on my own conjecture as this is a sport of Yukako produced by stem culture and because there are multiple colors involved in the bloom, I believe this is a chimera African violet hence the black edges cannot be breed into another plant.  Now all this said at the writing of the above 2 weeks prior to this observation (below) I saw two bloom stalks popping up.   I figured I will let it bloom prior to pitching the plant.  Of course the color was not any different but the number of petals expressed on the first bloom of each stalk has seven!  The rest of the blooms had the standard five.   See the image below.

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So now what?  Do I discard the plant or try propagating the bloom stalks with the first bloom of seven to see if this can be reproduced or this was just a fluke?  Of course!  Lets propagate the bloom stalks to see if the seven  petal bloom is real (genetically driven) or not.   As a footnote the black as seen under a little different lighting has stronger green coloration in the above image.

Time Laps of African Violets

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Time laps of tiny African violets growing (or any plant for that matter) always fascinates me.  The concept of plant movement, real, somewhat precise and purposeful escapes us.  It is only when we see these time laps images does it put into perspective the world from a different view point.  Hope you enjoy watching them.

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Party Fun Or Is The Party Over?

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This is not the first time I observed this behavior in other chimera African violets.  This time it happens to be in Party Fun.  It starts out as a bifurcation of the bloom stalks coloring.  One of the flower stalks turns a solid color.  In this case purple.  The other stalk remains true to it’s chimera color and pattern.  In time the entire plant appears to succumb to the dominant solid color and the plant loses it’s chimera expression.  I have observed this with a number of chimera African violets.  Sometimes the conversion is fast and complete without the bifurcation.

Chimera African Violets Gone Wrong (More)

Attached is the latest to my photo collection of chimera African violets that have gone wrong.  Perhaps better described as images of frustration.  With the exception of one of the mutations producing what I considered a favorable outcome (Shimai) the rest of these are really not welcome changes but I must admit always interesting.

Chimera African Violets Reverting Page 6

The link below will take you to the entire collection of chimera African violets that I have seen revert, digress, or mutate.
Click here to see the entire set of image

Powdery Mildew (Oidium Fungus) Eradication From African Violets

 

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Powdery Mildew is caused by the Oidium fungus and can be eradicated from your African violets in a simple 10 min process.  I discovered a few plants that were isolated in the corner of the growing room that had a significant infection.  The plant on the left is the chimera Bob’s Monkey Shine that I did not want to lose.  Of all the infestations that can befallen  African violets this one gives me the least concern as it can be addressed directly.   The plant on the right is the very same plant as on the left but 1 week after treatment.  The treatment is safe for the plant and with the exception of losing a flower stalk and 1 leaf as a consequence of my less then gentile handling the plant has not missed a beat in growing.  Click on each image to enlarge and inspect.

Click here to see how you can eradicate powdery mildew on infected plants in 10 minutes. (May take a full 2 minutes to download (a lot of pictures)).

 

Sport Of Shimai, F1

Shimai Sport

Back on 9/15/13 I posted this image of a sport of Shimai.  The entire plant was producing these types of blooms.  I tissue cultured 3 flower stalks prior to the sport succumb  to Crown rot, ( the work of the fungi Phytophthora).  I also posted a few images of the 4 young plants that were growing .  Well two of them bloomed over the last few weeks and I was a bit disappointed.  My hope was blooms that were identical to the above image.

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This was the first bloom.  The edges were purple and the purple green stripes were only strongly present in two of the five stripes.

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But to make the picture more complicated (no pun intended) note all the blooms on this plant.  Click on the image to enlarge.  The coloration is essentially all over the place.

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The second plant also bloomed so far one bloom.  This had dark green tips with faded purple and slightly green stripes.   It is apparent that the F1 of the sport of Shimai is demonstrating some genetic instability in its blooms.  I will continue to monitor into a second bloom.  What might be interesting is to stem culture specific stems that illustrate a specific trait and see if the plant that is produced is an expression of that bloom stalk or another plant with different blooms on it.

 

 

Revisiting Rob’s Monkeyshines, Chimera African Violet

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Click on any of the above images to enlarge.

It has been years since my last Rob’s Monkeyshines bloomed, literally years.  It sat dormant, growing nicely just not blooming.  This is a semi-miniature white pansy chimera with red-purple colors with blue fantasy.  A remarkable little bloom where no two blooms are the same as exemplified in the images of three random blooms on the same plant.  I could have taken 10 pictures and they would all look different.  The appreciation and wonder of the genetics in chimera African violets is exemplified in this plant.  This plant like all chimera African violets  have two genotype populations that live on the same plant resulting in this little gem expressing this interesting flower phenotype.

When Is A Chimera Concord Not A Chimera Concord?

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It all started with an email from someone that I had just sold a Concord chimera African violet to.  The buyer of my plant stated that he was happy to get the Concords I was selling because they had larger white strip sections.  I did not really understand what he meant since I purchased my Concord a long time ago (a decade or so back) from Lyndon Lyon’s Greenhouse.  So what perception was the person that e-mailed me working under?   To me a Concord is a Concord.  Even gringo beginners can pick out a Concord from 25 yards.

So it was not but a few months later when I saw on ebay (the epitome of the free market), a chimera African violet, Concord.  And sure enough the photos of what was being offered appeared a little skimpy on the white strip portion in the blooms as well as the blooms looking smaller.  I carefully read the text and the seller was selling this Concord as a special strain that had a little different look.  Never the less he was still selling it as Concord.  I had to have to it. So I placed an aggressive bid.  Read More »

Crown Rot, Root Rot Among My Chimera African Violets

Crownrot

Above Crown rot, ( the work of the fungi Phytophthora)  I knew about it but never experienced it in my many years of growing African violets.   Well I was not only introduced to it first hand in December and January but it moved into my growing room and took up residence.   I have now lost 1/3 of my plants.  I believe now it has been banished from my plant room if not my house thanks to a number of practices I have changed and 10% bleach.   It was my fault.  I have always used a rather heavy potting mix as I try to minimize the time I spend watering plants.  And with this very early and very cold winter we are experiencing in Ohio (Temperature as of this writing is -5 degrees below zero or -20.5 degrees Celsius) I am seeing extremely  low indoor relative humidity levels.  The plants dry out then I over water.   I had not been inspecting the plants on a regular basis as I have been busy with other projects.  Root rot, crown rot is caused by the Phytophthora  fungus, which attacks the roots and, most notably, the crown of African Violets.  Usually the first sign and  symptom which I missed as I was not paying attention is the drooping of the leaves despite the fact the soil was moist, if not wet.  That was indicative of the fact that the roots have failed and are not absorbing the moisture.  At lease at this point the crowns are salvageable which I did a fair share of crown removal, bleaching  and rooting including a 10 yr old Granger Red and White stripe.  Most all the plants I removed the crowns and treated with 10% bleach and placed in fesh potting mixture or mixture that was baked at 380 degrees for 45 minutes.  They are all doing very well. 

Hear is a nice example of a very advanced case of crown rot.   

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Other Symptoms include but not limited to when the crown has a web like substance on and around it. Leaves become darkened and or wilt while green.  Growth is slowed or totally inhibited.

I did an extensive web search on treatments and the findings were rather dismal.  Nothing can really be done other then discard the plant and soil and pot.  On plants where the crown was still in tact I removed it making sure the cut was above the infected area.  I then placed the crown in a solution of 10% bleach (I prefer Clorox).  It was sealed in a container and essentially inverted for 10 minutes.  It was rinsed well and potted in soil that was baked at 380 degrees F for 45 minutes.  And the pots I used were also placed in 10% bleach for 30 minutes and rinsed well.  The crowns in their new soil (moist but not wet and much lighter)  were placed in plastic bags.  In 2 weeks most of the crowns has a nice little root system and were removed from the bags.

Prevention is always your best bet for successfully controlling Crown Rot I guess. But since I never had the issue I just assumed I was fine and it was not something I was concerned about.  So going forward I will  not overwater, I not let the soil dry out completely before watering.  Finally I started using a more light, porous potting soil.  I am also (for the first time) starting to consider some sort of self watering device.

I cannot end this post with the painful pictures of the carnage of a fungus.  The below image comes again courtesy of J. Miemietz, a grower of African violets  and an  exceptional photographer who resides in Germany.  This is her  Mauna Loa that was grown from a crown.  Good to know as bleak as things are or were on my plant stands in Ohio, things are green and in bloom in Germany.

Mauna Loa (Eyerdom)

Follow-up On Some Chimera African Violet Projects

For whatever reason there has been minimal blooming this month but a lot of growth with plantlets I produced from flower stalks from some “different” blooms. First I have the 7 petal Mauna Loa (Eyerdom) bloom. I produced a plantlet from that stalk. Not that I am expecting a plant that has 6 or 7 petal blooms, but the concept and frequency of 6 petal blooms on some chimera African violets intrigues me and although I do not expect selecting them by stalk can produce a higher frequency petal bloom per plant, I just have the urge to do it. What if? So I am. The link to the previous article and image can be seen reviewed by just clicking here.

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Click on image to enlarge

 The next two photographs below were plantlets produced from the flower stalks of the sport of Shimai.  Click on ‎this link to review the article and see the sport.  They are glowing nicely and I expect a bloom in April or May.  While the third plantlet

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almost seemed as if it was failing to thrive as it was rather small and was growing at a much slower rate.

sport Shimai 2

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A closer look from a side angle revealed two plantlets.  Once I get a little more growth from both I will separate them.  How true or if any of these plantlets will be true to the parent plant is still in question.  The parent succumb to what I believe was Cylindrocarpon or root rot.   The habit of letting the plants get very dry and then over watering in large part the result of my schedule.  I will have to seriously start considering wicking or some other means to maintain these plants.   I removed the crown in an effort to save the plant so it will be a while before more stalks of this sport can be produced.

Sport of Shimai

Click on image to enlarge

Can You Grow Chimera African Violets from Seed?

NO!   You cannot.   I have seen articles and post on occasion pop-up stating you can grow Chimera African violets from seed.  You can’t.  Chimeras are made up of two genotypes in the body of the plant.  The very process of pollen and egg production excludes one of the two genotypes.  Hence you cannot produce a chimera African violet from seed.  I have in past posts demonstrated this in an experiment.   But can you use the seed of chimera African violets to produce African violets (non-chimera)?  You sure can!  Attached is a link to a very simple and very effective way I grow African violets from seed. Click this link to see how to plant African violet seeds.

 

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The Image above illustrates how small an African violet seed really is.  So small is an African violet seed  that a single seed can get lost in the center of a “C” in the word “cent” on a penny.  Orchid seeds which are the tiniest of seeds are not that much smaller than an African violet seed.  Compare the seeds using the key at the bottom.