Wednesday, March 11, 2009

3.11 pink green violet

pink green violet
Originally uploaded by zinlizzie
I've another violet trying to bloom. It's almost as though it's frozen in time. The blooms have looked like this for over a week now, just poised to open but not doing it.
This is one of my favorite African violets. The leaves, obviously are edged with white. The flowers are pink shading to white, with a green edging.
One of the most interesting things I read about African violets years ago is that they are very unstable genetically. There are only a few original types of plants and all the variations in color and structure have been bred into them over time. Stressing an individual plant can cause the "fancy" part of its genes to break down.
One time the thermostat in my office broke down over a long weekend and the temp was over 120 F in the office when we came in on Monday. Since African violets prefer a nice steady 75-80 F, this didn't do my collection any good. I lost about half of them right away. The others eventually recovered, but one of the fanciest was very peculiar after that. It had originally been very similar to this plant - white ruffled edging on the leaves, pale blue rather than pink blooms, but very ruffled. When the plant finally recovered enough to put out new leaves, there was a strong line of demarcation down the center of the crown (new leaves on an African violet grow out from the crown, where you see the smallest leaves in the photo). On one side of the line, the leaves were ruffled but not as much as originally, and the white disappeared altogether. On the other side of the line, the leaves were completely smooth, also without white. Blooms on the ruffled side of the crown were still ruffled, but were darker than originally. Blooms on the unruffled side were the simplest form of dark purple violet bloom.
I wish I had a picture of that plant. It looked almost as though someone had cut two plants in half and glued them together.

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