We've got something special for the post today! Dale Martens has sent a wonderful article about the newest thing in African violets, the chimeras from Japan! Dale says:
"I've attached 4 photos of the Japanese African violet Chimera 'Yukako'. See the pretty purple and green chimera flowers in the first photo. I decided to hybridize with the plant, so I made some crosses although green flowers are notoriously difficult to breed! A few weeks later I decided I wanted to propagate it, so I removed the center.
Yukako in bloom.
Within a month I got new growth which you can see in the next photo. Well, I went on a 3 week trip to Australia and New Zealand and upon returning we found ourselves being very attentive for the next two months to a relative who was quite sick. So I didn't have a chance to remove the growing center of 'Yukako'.
New suckers emerge where the center was removed.
See the next photo with an abundant amount of sucker growth! Finally I got around to removing all the suckers.
Time to remove the suckers!
The final photo shows how many I got. Some suckers were already blooming true!
An abundance of suckers!
About the seed pods: so far 2 had seeds and 7 did not have a single seed even though the fat pods took 5-1/2 months to ripen. Seeds sown 2 weeks ago haven't sprouted yet. I'm not surprised because this same sort of thing happened when I crossed the green/white chimera 'Emerald City' with 'Louisiana Lagniappe'. Happily with that cross I was able to get a few seeds that gave me my two newly introduced 'Heartland' African violets." - Dale Martens in Illinois.
A special thanks to Dale for taking the time to send this entry. With luck, we may also be able to share one of the earliest photos of a new hybrid streptocarpus that is going to be in bloom for the first time in a few days! (I can't wait!!)
Photos are used with permission and may not be reproduced in any way.