Humako Sweet Gone Wrong

The above image is Humako Sweet. The below image is a disappointment batch of Humako Sweet’s produced from tissue cultures. I will have to add this to my list of sports that have gone wrong. Actually to see the images of chimeras that have sported to something else, click on this link.

Harmony’s “Little Stinker” Leaf Chimera (Part 2)

As I posted in March the chimera African leaf violet “Little Stinker” (on the left below) had over 2 years set off a number of shoots with new, multiple leaders that were a mix of both chimera leafs and non-chimera leaf plantlets. The image below on the right is the same plant on the left. (By the way click on any image on this blog to enlarge)

So the only solution was to take the plant out of the pot and start taking the plant apart by leader to see what we had.

Well after a lot of gently pulling, bending and tearing you see 6 plant groups. Plants C, D and F were reassigned to the mulch pile in the garden outside. A and B were relatively well formed chimera leafed plants (Little Stinker) and I am optimistic both will become well rotted healthy plants. Image E are 4 small plantlets where I am uncertain if they have a leader or not.

The below image on the right is plant “A” setup to generate roots. I did dust the base with a rooting hormone powder but in all honesty I have in other cases have not used anything and got good root production and a well developed root system. The plant was them placed in a plastic bag which is sealed to keep humidity up and placed under artificial light that is on 12-14 hours a day for about 1 month. When I notice that the center of the plant is growing new leaves after about a month I will then transition the plant out of the bag.

The image on the left (below) are all the plantlets that appear true to the “Little Stinker” phenotype. The two top plants, ( A & B) based on their crown leaf structure will do fine once rooted. But as you can see some of what was removed (bottom five plantlets) are essential very tight balls of leaves and I have no idea if a leader (crown) exists or not. Also is a stem segment with what appears to have a tiny plantlet attached.

I potted them all up and ended up with six of these small disorganized plantlet clumps with no real leaf organization. They are in 2 oz plastic cups and will place them in plastic lunch bags. In a month or two will know what we have.

Harmony’s “Little Stinker” Leaf Chimera

Above image is “Little Stinker” chimera leaf African violet

I do not believe this leaf chimera is a registered plant in the AVSA data base called first class. Never the less it is a popular chimera leaf African violet and nicely symmetrical. Now if you do not maintain the plant, it will send out small shoots and if you do not remove them and let it grow without “grooming it” the result is the below image. Yes this is the exact plant as above 2 years later.

You can see that unlike the 1st image where there is a leader and the leaves all are very symmetrically organized, the above plant is not. What we see here is multiple leaders and some do not have the chimera genetics and the leaves on those are solid green and apparently are blooming strongly. This blooms are the same color of blooms on the chimera leaf plants. Below are two images of this plant from two sides showing the all green lead and a second chimera leaf lead. Click on any of the images to get an enlarged image.

The end result to this is that I will have to literally cut out each of the multiple leads and root them. The solid green leaf leads will be discarded.

Mice Eat African Violets!

Grangers’ Red and White Strip

I have been growing African violets for about 40 years. One of the oldest plants I had with me, perhaps the last 30 years has been Granger Red and White Strip. I learned to propagate chimera African violets using tissue culture methods with this hybrid, and as I moved from one state to another to a new job, I made sure this was part of the collection I would bring. I currently had only this one plant of Granger Red and White, it was health and growing. I really enjoyed it and it was important to me. Then the other day I went down to the basement of my home (where I grow my violets) and found this! (image below) Click on the images to enlarge.

What I found

The Grangers’ Red and White Stripe was in pot (A). Pot (B) and (C) had two other chimeras and were spaced further apart. All 3 plants were in a white plant tray on the 3rd level of a growing shelf that was about 5 feet off the ground. The plants were totally gone only some leaves were found in the tray. As I typically check on my violets once ever 2 to 3 days, and based on the amount of curl of the leaf debris I expect this occurred 3 days prior. The plants were gone down to the soil. But roots were still there indicating they were perhaps eaten, stem and all, down to the soil-line of the pot. This was really upsetting to me. I will probably never be able to replace it. I lost it forever. I noticed with the spilled soil from the knocked over pot there appeared to be mouse droppings (Arrows point to some of them). Do mice eat African violets?

I was totally unaware if mice or some other creature eats African violets. I was also very frustrated with the concept that there were mice in the house. I initially just assumed mice did this damage as the droppings and the quantity of mice droppings inside this plant tray (arrows).

I then started a web search to find out if in-fact mice eat African violets. To my surprise there were not many articles on this. Actually only found 4 articles and the links are below. After a week of mouse traps and close surveillance including putting one trap in the plant tray where the Granger Red and White was, I was able to remove 4 mice. The traps are now are vacant and I am assuming I got them all. But will keep a few traps going for the next month just to make sure.

Below are the links I found:

As you will see in the links above, mice do eat African violets (leaves and stems), apparently they enjoy eating the ones I enjoy growing the most. As you will see from the above links, African violets are listed as a non-poisonous plant, according to the National Capital Poison Center: Poison Control – Washington. Also African violets do not appear toxic to either dogs or cats, hence one can assume it is not toxic to mice. Over the decades I have had my plants attacked by fungus, bacteria. I guess I need to add mice to the list.

A Possible Leaf Chimera?

Below are three leaves of a sport of Humako Sweet. Actually all the leaves reflect this pattern. Does this pattern remind you of anything?

Leaf 1
Leaf 2
Leaf 3

Does the darker chloroplast seem to form an image of a maple leaf? At least that is what it looks like to me. This is a small plant. I was propagating Humako Sweet and I noticed one of the plants had a dark center. As the plant grew (all be it slowly) every single leaf produced the same or nearly the same configuration of dark and light chlorophyll. Some were more exact to the maple leaf like image 1 and 2 and some of the leaves looked like the image of “Leaf 3″.” I started to wonder if in fact this is not a variegation but a true chimera leaf. I have not propagated any plants yet from this parent plant. As I said it is a slow grower. It has bloomed and I was hoping for a chimera bloom but that did not occur. Small white flowers did appear. The next blooming I will remove the peduncles and do tissue culture to see if I can propagate this plant and what outcomes are obtained. Perhaps our Canadian African violet friends may like this one. Click on the imaged to enlarge.

Granger‘s Sugar Frost (A Vintage Chimera)

Granger‘s Sugar Frost Chimera African Violet

There are now so many interesting chimera African violets, with some complex coloration and color patterns. I do miss some of the vintage chimeras that have been out for a long time. One of them which will have been registered for 30 years come 1/15/23 (as noted in AVSA “First Class”Reg#7846 1/15/1993). is Granger‘s Sugar Frost. The hybridizer is Eyerdom.

It is just a simple single chimera pink star with a white strip with raspberry sparkle in the pink part of the bloom. The leaves are a light green with plan glossy foliage. Rare do I see this plant offered. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Kilauea: A Vintage Chimera African Violet


 I have come to notice that the old standards are seen less and less and increasingly more difficult to find. Kilauea is one of them. Hybridizer is Eyerdom (Reg# 6808 1/15/1988) this chimera plant is a perfect example of the “vintage” chimera African violets. Simple in bloom structure and pattern yet distinct and complex in that the pink and purple pattern, like snowflakes, vary from bloom to bloom. Never the same.

It should also be noted that the blooms of Kilauea are very 3 dimensional (as in the above picture). The bottom petal sticks out about 30 degrees from the rest of the bloom into a different plane. The two side petals are flat and 90 degrees to the ground and the two top petals are forward about 10 degrees. So it takes a little effort to photograph them so the image is reasonable.

Slight Variant of Shimai Bloom?

As I propagate more Shimai and observed the first flowering, I had one that had bloomed with a bit of purple in the blooms. Not what I was looking for but re-potted and put it in the north window. Months later as the plant matured I noticed it bloomed heavily but any trace of strong purple in the blooms was gone. When I looked closely (very closely) I noticed the green stripes were a bit darker as compared to a typical Shimai (below image).

Click on any of the images below to enlarge them.

Shimai Regular
Shimai Normal

The image below has the slight purple in the green stripes.

Shimai with slight purple to stripes

I circled and drew an arrow to point out the area I noticed as different. The traditional Shimai on the left has white in those thin margins that occur on occasion on the petals. Compare that to the plant on the left where the tiny margins are not white but a slight purple ting which may account for the slightly darker green stripes.

Another Sport Of Yakako

Sport of Yakako

This is a sport (above image) of Yakako. Far from the stunning green pinwheel stripes on the purple background as you can see in a normal bloom Yakako (below). Also notice the petals on this sport are longer and more pronounced. But most striking, at least to me is the black edges on the bloom. If this is a chimera bloom or not is yet to be ascertained. Over the next several months I will propagate using both tissue culture and leaf cuttings to produce more plants that will determine if the bloom is a chimera or not. The colors (purple and black ) does depict the actual color of the blooms on the plant. It took me a couple of days to figure out how to actually photograph the bloom to capture their true color. The leaves are a VERY dark green and the underside of the leaf is solid red.


Yachiyo Tabata Sport F3 Appears Stable

Yachiyo tabata sport (image on right) has now undergone three generations and appears genetically stable. It is interesting that the original Yachiyo tabata (image on left) with its pink and purple and fantasy edges appears to have migrated in the sport as the center stripe of the sport. Also the centers on the original Yachiyo which are white are now the white edges on the Yachiyo sport. Click on the images to enlarge.

8E Danse Macabre; A Beautiful and Most Challenging Chimera African Violet

Click on image to enlarge

For the last 5 years I have been trying to propagate 8E Danse Macabre using my standard tissue culture technique which has been successful on any chimera African violet I have tried. To date I have propagated a total of “one” plant. Yes this is an unusual and stubborn hybrid (for me). Initially when I first obtained it, it seemed to grow a bit slower then most under the artificial fluorescent lighting I used. Over time I learned it seemed to do best with natural light and in the east window where in can get a bit of direct morning sunlight for an hour or so in the summer. Now that it is growing well and in a pot a bit larger then the other African violets, it is blooming nicely. I then use the flower stems in my tissue culture media to stimulate the peduncle to grow a tiny plantlet. And here is where the challenge has been for me. The peduncle just does not seem to be stimulate with the plant hormones (content and concentration) that the other chimera peduncles grow at. So I will continue to tinker with this to find what is needed. In the mean time I will continue enjoy its exceptional blooms.

New Concord & Standard Concord Compared

As you may be aware you can purchase on eBay a plant called “New Concord”. It is not a registered African violet with AVSA yet. The difference is seen in the images below with the New Concord bloom and leaf on the left and the standard Concord images on the right.

Referring to a post I made on March 1st 2014, (, I calculated the white to purple area of a good standard Concord to some of the substandard Concords being sold. Using the same methodology I wanted to compare the classic Concord white to purple ratio to the New Concord.

Results: The New Concord had 62.3% purple pigment and 37.7% white pigment in its bloom as compared to the standard registered Concord that had 74.1% purple pigment and 25.9% white pigment in a typical bloom. So the new concord has 11.8% less purple or 11.8% more white pigmentation. Also interesting to note is the red pigmentation in the underside of the leaf (I believe it is called anthocyanin) of the standard Concord is totally absent in the New Concord leaf.

Chimera African Violet, When a Sport Will Not Stop Sporting.

A number of months ago I posted this image of a sport of Shimai (below). I was excited as I liked the narrow dark coloration of the stripes on the pure white background.

Shimai Sport

But following African Violet Society of America (AVSA) protocol I wanted to get 3 consecutive generations that reproduced identically to demonstrate genetic stability and proof of a new variant. Well I have not been able to do that. In fact on one plant I have all these different bloom color combinations. Below is a sampling of what is blooming on the same plant.

Below is a over view (literally) of the African violet plant.

Sport Of A Sport+

To say the plant from a flower blooming color perspective is not stable is an understatement. But in the end the requirement of 3 generation of consistency being required to verify a new variant has proved its value. And as all this was occurring I had a very nice bloom of a Yakako which is the plant Shimai sported from and the top image of this post sported from Shimai. So I will end this entry with the bloom that started it all.


Click on any of the images to enlarge.

Can A Chimera African Violet Bloom Reverse Itself?

Perhaps the question in the title needs some clarification. In chimera blooms using Concord for example, can the plant mutate such that the purple turns white and the white turns purple and the ratios of the colors switch to remain constant o the original. The result is a chimera bloom where the color are reversed and the reversed colors are proportional to the original. The Concord image below was taken about a year ago and is the parent plant to the sport on the second image below.

I wondered if this was possible and assumed it was rather unlike to happen or at least I would never see it. But not impossible. I was growing a small batch of 6 young Concords from my tissue culture method. I was waiting for them to bloom, and they started. The first one which was growing with the most vigor bloomed all purple which for me is a common occurrence when they sport. Then four others bloomed all normally and are nice Concords. The sixth one was taking a little longer to bloom and I noticed when the buds started to form that they appeared to be all white. As they developed I noticed a little purple on the edgers so I just waited that then one morning the bloom opened up. The image is below.

Click on image to enlarge

It is a chimera that had the reverse colors of the Concords that I was growing! I know when you look at the two images the purple color may be off a little but that is a function the lighting and my lack of photographic skills. In real time when compared, the purple is the same color as the concord. So the answer to the title question is YES! A chimera bloom could reverse itself such that the colors are opposite and proportional in size to the parent plant. More about this plant in future posts.