Time Lapse African Violet Blooms.

As I enjoy time lapse photography of plants, this one I thought was done exceptionally well.  Background was black, lighting was constant, the entire focus was on the blooms  of the African violet.  Note how one can discern the growth of the petals of the bloom.  The lighting was superb.  Enjoy.
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Abnormal Mauna Loa Blooms

As I have numerous times in the past, I propagated some Mauna Loa from some flower stems.  Nothing special.  8 months later one of the plants produced bloomed.  And every single bloom looked like of what you see below.

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Several commonalities of each bloom.  First each bloom has or had 6 points or ends on each bloom.  The bloom appeared as one single petal with one point of separation

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Every one of the blooms are small and does not appear to be exhibiting its chimer-ism.  I have never experienced in my years of growing a full bloom of tiny undeveloped flowers.  Perhaps this is the consequence of some environmental factors?   If you have seen this I would appreciate your input.












Now the question is in my mind is,  if the small blooms are caused by some environmental factor and  will return to normal next flowering cycle or is this a true genetic mutation?  I suppose I can take the bloom stalks and propagate them to produce new plants and see the outcome or perhaps the easiest is to just wait and see what the next bloom cycle brings.  Regardless time will tell.

Sport of Humako Sweet + 29 Images to make 1 image of the Sport

This is a two fold post this month. First I had a sport of Humako Sweet that was detected prior to the bloom using leaf color. But also interestingly the bloom was a little difficult to photograph as there was considerable depth of field to the bloom plus the angle in which I photographed this only added to the complexity. So the image (the all white bloom) is a composite of 29 stacked images in an attempt to produce an all in-focus bloom with considerable depth of field.  Not the best and I am disappointed with the outcome but much to learn yet.  With regard to the sport, the first image is what I was expecting when I tissue cultured the stem, a typical Humako Sweet (below).   Sweet main imageThe actual bloom of the sport was what appears below (the 29 images stacked). 2016-06-18 15-28-10 (B,Radius10,Smoothing7)










I suspected a sport because the leaf color of Humako is always a dark green.  The leaves of this sport was a much lighter green.  I have seen this with other chimera African violets. Leaf color change equates to a sport.  Below are the two plants grown together from the same bloom stalk.  Obviously the lighter green leaf one sported from the Sweet chimera pattern (white bloom above).  The lighter colored produced the typical chimera bloom for Sweet.  Sweet and Sport

Chimera African Violet -Flower Stem Propagation?

Initial Image










I read in the Sept/Oct 215 African Violet Magazine, Vol 68 page 48, an article titled “Propagating from Flower Stems.  As that is what I do using tissue culture media instead of potting mix, I was interested in what it had to say.  But what got my attention was not the fact that the author propagated plants with flower stalks but with calyces.  So what is calyces?  Well it is collectively all the sepals, they are called calyx (plural calyces), the outermost whorl of parts that form a flower (below the petals).  See illustration and explanation. Now that seemed unusual to me.  Using the flower stems will produce true chimera African violets, but the calyces?   So I decided I needed to try that using some Concord flower stems and calyces, all placed in my standard tissue culture method.  I placed three calyces, pedicel, ovary, calyx, and all in one tube and then some flower stems as I always do as a control in another test tube.  After 4 months the standard flower stems produced some nice Concord plantlets which were removed from the tube and potted.  After 5 months one of the three pedicels produced a mass of stems and leaves around itself, the other two pedicels showed no sign of growth. See below.









After removing all the material from the culture tube one can see two  (calyces) with no growth, and frankly they look dead, and one  totally surrounded in leaves and stems.









I pulled away a portion of the leaves and stems to reveal that a large callus had formed around the base of the ovary and the leaves and stems developed from them.

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After I carefully dissected away the plants from the callus, I was able to recover four plantlets.  The callus growth is now obvious around the pedicel of one flower part and did not originate from the calyces. (see above).










This is the image of the four plantlets.  The interesting question is what will the blooms look like?  Most certainly they will not be true blooming Concords.  I will post the outcome when they bloom.

Ten Blue Confetti Chimera African Violet Stacked Images

Historically when I tried to do macro photography with bloom images of my African violets the issue for me was that the depth of field was sharp only in a very narrow range.  This resulted in an  image that had part of the bloom in focus and the rest of the bloom out of focus.  I tried a photo stacking program to solve this issue.  So what I did was focus on the top of the bloom, then on the plain just under that , then the plain below that, on and on, all the way down to the bottom petals and a tad beyond.  I placed all 10 images into an on-line software called Helicon focus.  Then allowed Helicon to stack the 10 images I made into the final product you see below (click on the below image to enlarge and inspect).   The Image is not perfect in terms of focus at every fraction of a mm, (which comes down to what I inputted) but I do see considerable utility for improving the images I post on this site.BC 10 image focus

O’Fortuna – A New Chimera African Violet Introduction

O'Fortuna Bloom2

O’Fortuna (the above plant) is a new introduction and recently registered sport of Concord.  O’Fortuna now has an AVSA Registration #10806 1/7/16 D. Landek.   The flowers are best described as single white pansy blooms with light lavender stripes.  The foliage is standard, ovate, hairy, dark green leaves with scallop edges.   The image above is of an F3 plant of this cultivar.  I found this standard African violet to be a strong grower, with a strong habit of long flower stalks forming a nice head of blooms above the dark foliage.

I will have a limited supply of these plants available on this website starting May 1st.  If interested click here to purchase O’Fortuna.

Neptune’s Jewels ~ A Sport of it.

Sport of Neptune Jewels The above image is Neptune’s Jewels.  I enjoy the bloom of this plant.  The below image is a bloom of a plant that sported from the original Neptune Jewels.

Sport of Neptune Jewels Note the white stripe in the middle of each petal is gone. The pink that was on the plant edges as well as the purple speckles are now uniform across the petals. The mature bloom measures 6 cm across or about 2.5 inches (below image).  Is this sport  a chimera or not?  In the next months I will take the stem bearing this bloom and concurrently will take a leaf and attempt to propagate plants from both.  If the leaf propagation produces plants with the same bloom as depicted here then it is not a chimera. If the leaf produces plants with different color blooms and concurrently the stem propagation produces a plant with blooms that look like the original sport, then I know we have a new chimera African violet. This experiment should take about 8 months to complete. So if all goes well in the September-October time frame we will have an answer.  We will also have some insights into the genetic stability if it is a chimera.  As the stem propagation would be the F1 of 3 generations needed to ascertain genetic stability.

sport of N

The Chimera African Violet Shop

I have been selling a good portion of African violets on e-Bay. I enjoy e-bay as it has a very large reach and will continue to sell on it. But to readers of my website, many who I have had very pleasant e-mail exchanges and regularly read my site, I set-up a site called “Shopafricanviolets.com”. It is located on the shop tab above on the menu. My intent is to provide the same plants as on eBay, at reasonable prices without the hassle of bidding.

As I started getting into designing this website as another hobby, I perhaps went a little over the top on this website, but it was a lot of fun designing and creating it.  I also added features that I wish other on-line African violet stores would offer like a “waitlist”, a “wish list” (some have this) and reasonable shipping and handling charges (no one has that). I have it all on this site. Plus I think some nice images of the plants being offered.  It is not yet stocked and the prices are not yet set.  At the end of April,  I will stock the store and set final pricing.  What you will see when you log on is a huge banner of images of chimera African violets (below).

Shop African Violets 1



Once you are on the site if you click on “Shop” you will be taken to:

Products – Shop African Violets 2

You can see the images are large, easy to see. The intent of the shop site is that even if you do not buy any plants, you can just enjoy the browsing experience. The store opens May 1st with a limited stock of plants. I will provide a coupon code in the store (see FAQ section on how to get it) that will allow a 10% discount for the month of May. If you see a plant you would like to have (as the store is not loaded with stock yet), register and click on “waitlist” and you will automatically get an e-mail when I put in new stock.

You may notice there will be few non-chimera African offerings which are usually interesting one-offs of an experiment, trial or a plant I found interesting and propagated it. Those plants will be in the “Other” category.

Sport of Shimai

shimai sport 02tx


Received this image from Nikol Vodickova. This image is of a sport of Shimai. One of the nicer images I have seen (thank you Nikol). A similar sport of this nature I have also seen originating from Yukako. I suspect this is a chimera, but only a suspicion.

Chimera’s Gone Wrong

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I have been taking photographs on those occasions (not very common) when the outcome of my chimera tissue cultures have produced less then the desired outcomes.  But on very rare occasion a second chimera sports from the original chimera which I would not necessarily consider a disappointing outcome.  The above three are the most current examples of chimera’s that have sported or mutated.  The last on the three images (the concord sport), has produced an interesting chimera that has a bloom which is very similar to “The Alps”.  Also attached is this link of the 24 chimera’s that sported or mutated which I have recorded.

Granger Sugar Frost-Awakened

Granger Sugar Frost














As was true about the Fords Pinwheel (last post), a similar situation occurred with my Granger Sugar Frost, except that this plant bloomed constantly and grew nicely for me in the past.   I owned Sugar Frost for 15+ years, and had been propagating and growing it during this period.  About 2 years ago the plant just stopped growing.   For those two years the plant sat essentially dormant, growing in the center very slowly into a tight compact head.  Lighting and temperature as well as soil and moisture conditions were identical with my other growing plants in the immediate area and juxtaposition to this plant.  As it was my only one I did not want to discard it or give up on it so I removed the head, dipped the end of it into some rooting powder, then placed it into a small pot and covered it with an inverted plastic sandwich bag lightly closing off at the bottom.   It was placed under florescent lighting that was a bit intense, 8 inches from the two T12, 40W florescent bulbs.  After 3 weeks the leaves  at the periphery started to get larger and the center started growing again at a faster rate (see below).

Sugar Frost















Within 2 months the plant was about 8 inches across and threw its first bloom, (above).




Ford’s Pinwheel Chimera African Violet

Fords Pinwheel










About four years ago I propagated this plant, Ford’s Pinwheel (J.Ford), from a flower stem.  It never bloomed. I mean for 4 years the plant just grew, very very slowly.  Other plants subjected to the same lighting, soil, watering and temperature conditions in the growing area did wonderfully, blooming and growing.  But not this plant.  On multiple occasions I was going to send it off to compost pile.  Never did.  Then as of about 2 months ago I noticed it growing actively, sending off suckers and to my surprise sending off a couple of bloom stalks.  I figured based on the growing  behavior exhibited over the last four years I would see some type of sport of Fords Pinwheel.  All pink, all purple, something not too exciting.  Well this is what bloomed. A perfect chimera of Ford’s Pinwheel.  Four years in the making.  I guess everything in it’s own time.


Sport of Yukako with Chimera Leaves













About 10 months ago I planted two tiny Yukako plantlets in a larger pot. As the plants matured I noticed one was producing leaves that were dark green on the edges and light green in the center.  Leaf after leaf was produced that looked like that.  While the other plant was producing leaves typical in color and shape of Yukako.










Above you can see the two plants in a single pot.  The Yukako that had normal leaves producing the normal Yukako bloom and the plant that was producing what looked like the chimera leaves produced a dark purple bloom.  When you change the lighting angles and back light the bloom of the leaf chimera plant you see almost a pinwheel like coloration of darker purple on a lighter purple.













The image immediately above is the same flower with normal lighting.  What is interesting is that this is the second such chimera leaf mutation and dark purple flower coloration I have seen with Yukako in my collection and I have also heard of two other cases where this occurred.  I am certain the leaf is a chimera but I wonder about the bloom.  Could this be a double chimera?

Sport of Concord F2 In Bloom

F2 Bloom Sport of Concord










This is the first bloom of two plants that are the F2 generation of the sport of Concord and are blooming identical to the original sport and F1.  Currently F3 is growing and is about 4 leaves in size and perhaps 4-5 months away from blooming.

F2 Sport of Concord










What is striking is how this sport is different in leaf shape, color and texture then the original Concord.  This LINK will take you back to that original post where the comparisons were first made.
I can add a few more observations.  I noticed the flower stem grows tall above the plant leaf top which will allow for a nice flower display.  Below is a side shot of  plant to illustrate the point.  I do not nor never have “grow to show”, I just enjoy the growing and propagation of the plants and was never much into exhibiting plants.  But I am told a habit of tall flower stalks is desirable.

BloomStalk F2 Sport of Concord








Finally the size of the blooms are a bit  large as African violet flowers go.  For example I measured the bloom below end to end as illustrated and the distance across was 5.5 cm (about 2.25 inches).

F2 Bloom Sport of Concord 5 point 5cm