Chimera’s Gone Wrong

Web Document 8















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




Two Concords, Which One Do You Prefer?


Plant A

Plant A

Plant B

Plant B











Personal preference very much comes into the concept of what looks better or nicer or has greater aesthetic value.  Realizing it is subjective, above you see two Concord chimera African violets.  Which would you prefer in your collection?    My answer and preference is outside any subjective perspective which is neither right or wrong.  It is based on what did the original Concord look like?  As I propagate the Concord and as any of the other folks doing the same will  note from time to time variations in color and or pattern.  Some will take note and discard those variances while others will ignore the differences and sell the plant.  As that plant is propagated the variant is accepted as the original plant.   Now look at the plants below.  Below, plant A, is not the one that most closely reflects the original Concord.  Small white margins and almost no white margins at the bottom of the bloom.   Plant A has found its way to the compost pile.

Plant A

Plant A

Plant B

Plant B








Mauna Loa Chimera African Violet Petal Count















If you have been reading this blog you are probably aware of my efforts to take bloom stalks of Mauna Loa that exhibited  flowers with more then 5 petals and produce more plants that have a higher percentage of petals greater the 5.  For the most part I have had  minimal success and came to the conclusion that one may do this with color but it did not work with this trait.  I may have to revise that stance.  Another Mauna Loa (the one with 7 petals that I cultured the bloom stalk) bloomed.  What I observed was that the first 20 blooms had  5 blooms that had 5 petals; 12 blooms that had 6 petals and 3 that had 7 or more petals.  So of 20 blooms 75% had 6 or more petals.  Now the problem with this experiment is that I lost the control plant.  It died.  That is the old Mauna Loa that I did not propagate, had mostly 5 petal blooms.  I would only occasionally see a 6 petal bloom but had not quantify the percentage of 5 blooms which I would say was at least 80%.  So I have no good way of doing an honest comparison.  Should  any reader have a Mauna Loa plant and would be willing to share the number of  petals counts for a couple of bloom cycles (and photographs), I would be willing to trade one of my 6+ petal Mauna Loa plants for that information.














I apologize for the lack of image focus and quality of color on the above image.  But my focus (no pun intended) was the fact that  the number of petals exceeded 6, actually it was 8 on this bloom.  This bloom had 8 petals plus 2 undeveloped petals that appears to  be petals which are morphologically derived from stamens.  This is starting to get interesting.

Image Gallery

Just an FYI, the Image Gallery  was rebuilt using a different plugin.  I expect better responsiveness and less issues.  Just click on top menu titled “Image Gallery”.  There are currently 40+ of the most common chimera African violets that I think has merit and may deserve a place in your collection.

Party Fun Chimera African Violet Experiment Almost Completed















On August 1st 2014 (last year) I posted the above picture asking the question if the party was over for this chimera African violet named “Party Fun”.  My point was that I believed it was reverting to the dominate purple color which some chimera African violets do. To see the original blog discussion click here.   So I removed the flower stem with the all purple blooms (on the left hand side of the above image) and tissue cultured it to see what I would get. I produced two plant (below).

PF Plant Ex










As you can see, and based on close examination of traits they are identical to “Party fun” in every aspect, as the leaves are dark green, quilted that are red reversed.  Also appears this plant will also be a standard in size.  Identical to party fun except the blooms are purple with very slight pink undertones (below).

Ex Bloom










The outcome was no surprise that if a bloom stalk is different then the others the traits in the apical dome of the bloom stalk can be grown out and plants with that color trait will be produced true to the original mutated bloom stalk.  All I am waiting to complete this little experiment are for the plants generated from the bloom stalks of the normal “Party Fun” adjacent to the all purple blooms to demonstrate the normal party fun bloom colors.

Chimera African Violets from Leaf Cuttings?

What is wrong with the below eBay offering?

Chick on image to see the offering.

2 Leaves Leaf Cutting Firedancer Fuchsia Chimera Variegated African Violet Plant eBay Blacked out









If you are new to Chimera African violets or have considerable experience with them the answer is a singular and resounding NO!  You cannot propagate more chimera African violets from leaf cuttings.  It does not work because it is biologically impossible.  On this site are a few explanations from simple to more complex.

I enjoy and use eBay all the time.  It is the antithesis of the free market with both benefits and some pitfalls as illustrated here.


Mauna Loa Six Petals

ML 6 petel













In a previous post, December 1 2014, I discussed an experiment where I grew from a flower stem that had a 7 petal bloom with the intent of trying to see if i can establish a strain of 6 and 7 petal blooms.  Understanding that African violets are dicots and hence petels will be 5 and multiples there of and if you click on the above image it will link you to that blog discussion. (Yes I realize the colors of the blooms are different and that is a function of lighting and camera lens used).  Well I just had another Mauna Loa bloom from that batch, a late bloomer if you will, and of the 4 blooms 3 were 6 petal and one 5.  So not giving up on my conclusion of Dec, I cannot but help myself and will culture out these bloom stems to see if the habit is in fact genetic driven and can be selected out by individual bloom stem.  I will also keep track of petal count as other blooms appear as this plant matures.

Sport of Shimai Described

May of 2014 I described the first flowering of the sport of Shimai.  I then did stem culture on it and produced 3 plants.  All are identical. The blooms do not look exactly like the original bloom (I no longer have the original plant as it was consumed with the fungus issue I had last year) but all are consistent.  Below are a couple of images of the sport of Shimai (F1).  I have three plants of this sport and have in culture the F2 generation.  Of the 3 plants all are consistent in bloom, plant size and leaf type.  The flowers are white, ruffled and have considerable curvature of the bloom, are never flat as depicted in the images below.  The two top petals are a bit larger with a purple stripe with a green underlay of color.  The other 3 petals are purple on a white petal with a very slight green undertone. (Click on the images to enlarge them).  It will be interesting to see if the F2 plants produced are genetically stable and reflect those depicted below.

Sport of Shimai SP










As you can see in the image below, the bloom on the bottom left hand side exhibits the typical alinement of the petals.  They are not in the same plane.

Shim Sport Sacked


Sport Of Concord (second bloom)

As I indicated in the January 2015 post Link to that post, one of my Concords sported and produced a bloom that looked very similar to “The Alps”.   The plant is growing with a considerable degree of robustness such that a few months later it grew much larger and bloomed again.  As I pulled the bloom stalks to propagate more plants (F1 ) to determine genotypic and phenotypic stability over the next generation with the first bloom, I left the blooms alone this second bloom to fully ascertain the extent of the bloom size and the colors expressed as the bloom matures.  Historically as I have propagated Concords from bloom stalks I saw a degree of stability such that I was surprised that there was a sport.  Below are the blooms on the second flowering.

Sport of Concord








The color of this image is very close to the actual plant (actually the images below of the sport is identical to the color looking at the plant live).  I took some effort to assure it was accurately reproduced.  If you compare and contrast between Concord and this sport of Concord the differences are striking, not just with the bloom but with the leaves.  Below are images of bloom and leaf comparisons.  Click on the images to enlarge it.

Blooms Compared







Below is a leaf of Concord and the Sport of Concord.  Note it is a darker green and the lobes on the leaves are more elongated and symmetrical.  Also what is noticeable which is not captured well in the images is that the leaves of the sport appear either more hairy or the hairs on the leaf of the sport are longer.  But the sense is it is hairier.  As always just click on any of the images to get a better look.

Leaves Compared








Chimera African Violet Stem Tissue Culture

There has been interest in the propagation of chimera African violets.  All stem propagation methods depend on the propagation of the shoot apical meristem as the source to the new chimera African violets.  This area is between the stem proper and the leaflets on the stem.  Only plantlets from this area will produce plants true chimera African violets to the parents genotype and phenotype.   The same is true in non-tissue culture stem propagation.  In the below image is a flower stem of Party Fun where two very nice plantlets are growing just above the leaflets of the stem.  (You will need to click on the images below to see the detail) 









What is not atypical and problematic in stem cell tissue culture is the proliferation of viable plantlets of the stem body or just about anywhere else on the stem.  In this image below, you can see two plantlets forming on Humako Sharon (A) & (B) which will most likely be true to the parent.  In the next image below you can see plantlets (C), some of which are the result in callus tissue will not be true to the parent chimera.









These plantlets that are forming (C) will not produce viable chimera plantlets because they are not originating from the apical meristem which is located only above the leaflet region on the stem.