Saturday, October 06, 2012


Fall SHOW and sale at Bachman's on Lyndale, MPLS today from 9:00am  to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Come on down and see the really great looking violets and Gesneriads and check out the sale table! Lot's to choose from, especially the semi-minis and minis!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Commuity Education!

Well.... we've got a Gesneriad and African violet related community education class coming up in October!

This will be a grand experiment to see if we get enough interested people to have the class take place, but it's the first step to seeing if this works!



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Congratulations Kathy Lahti for Best In Show at Nationals 2012!

The North Star African Violet Council and all the violet folks in Minnesota would like to extend their most enthusiastic CONGRATULATIONS to Kathy Lahti for winning BEST IN SHOW at the AVSA Annual Convention 2012!!!!

Kathy won with African violet 'Eternal Orbit'.

Not only are Kathy's plants excellently grown but I'm always amazed that you can travel for hundreds of miles with a plant like this that is so perfect and get it to the show looking like this!



Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lyon's 'Lavender Magic'

 Saw this the other day and I was chuckling. I've heard over and over you don't want the parent leaf to use all of its energy growing, you want it to use the time to make roots and babies.
 This leaf started out as a normal size leaf less than three inches across. It's petiole was also a normal size roughly 1/8 inch is diameter. It got stuck into a solo cup and tucked into the back of a prop box.
It came out of the prop box because it was overtaking it's neighbors!!!! I think it was trying to eat them or something.

It's over 7 inches across the leaf and the petiole is over a half inch in diameter. Wow. Now we'll see if it starts to put up some babies. Maybe they will be mutant extra large or something!


Monday, February 06, 2012

More Unusual Streptocarpus Reproduction....

Now here's something you don't see everyday on your average Streptocarpus! It's got a stem. Streptocarpus usually do not have stems that are visible above the ground and are referred to as 'acaulescent'.
Here we've got the little stem with leaves planted in a Solo cup with some soil mix. Let's hope it roots and we can see what becomes of this rather interesting offshoot.



Monday, January 16, 2012

Unusual Streptocarpus Reproduction

Streptocarpus are a fiberous rooted member of the Gesneriad family. They usually reproduce by rather conventional means such as seeds and the occasional leaf cutting. But here are two very different methods that the strep has chosen to ensure that it's DNA isn't lost. In the first photo a very distressed strep is trying to think of anything it can to keep alive. You can see from the poor leaf quality and the darkened base that this plant was probably severely over watered and was just hanging on by a thread.You will note in the above photo that the center leaf is starting to produce new leaves. These are NOT flower buds. Normally, a strep will make a row of buds running up the leaf starting at the base, but these are new leaves trying to form. The front leaf to the left side of center has more of the baby leaves that are a bit larger. It's definitely a last ditch effort to reproduce before dying.

This photo also shows an unusual method for a strep to reproduce, but it's the opposite of the top photo. It's living conditions are so very favorable that it's sending out babies along the roots that were in the wick-watering pot. In this case, the plant is already doing so well it's figuring that it should just keep on sending out bits of itself to grow since it's life is so easy and everything is provided.

It would be an interesting experiment to see if the baby plants along the roots were able to be potted up. As far as I know it wasn't tried with this plant. Thanks to Sharon for providing this happy plant for us to look at!

 Comments???? Leave some, it makes us happy.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Streptocarpus! By Neil's Streps and Others!


Here's a post for everyone needing a little color in January!

My first entry is a soothing blue flower called Inky Frills. The center throat lines are nearly black and the contrast is amazing.
 This is one from Neil's Streps. It's Neil's Maverick. It's personally one of my favorites with the really fuchsia coloration in the lower three petals and the veining and the ruffles in the upper petals.

It was a very happy hybridizer's day when this one bloomed for the first time! An excellent plant and great color.

 Another offering from Neil's Streps. This is Neil's Darkest Night. It appears a bit light in this photo but when you are looking at this picture the bottom flower shows a more representative look at what the flowers look like in general. Very velvety and dark.
 This is Silvia! For the longest time it was quite rare to see yellow in a strep flower. This one has a dynamic contrast between the bright, sunshine yellow and the upper purple petals. It makes a very good show plant!
 This is Neil's Requiem.

Another bright fantasy bloom with good color contrast and large blooms.
 This is Neil's Blizzard. As I'm typing this this morning, I'm seeing it snowing and slowly covering the neighbor's yard. Not quite a blizzard, but I like looking at this much better!

A very lovely flower with a soft blend of pastel colors.

This is Hot Time Tonight! There isn't much more to day except WOW.

A very bright and cheerful fuchsia, another one of my favorites.
This is Azure Giant. The flowers are FOUR inches across and wildly huge. It's a Dave Thompson offering. The photos don't give you a notion of the size of the flower until you scroll down a little further and check out this next one.........
 Which is Azure Giant next to one of Dale Martens' recent introductions called Heartland's Baby Starfish. The size difference is startling to say the least.
 This is my personal favorite flower amongst all the lovely flowers. This is Stroke of Luck. This flower has an incredible dusty purple/blue veining that simply jumps off of the bright white background. The hint of yellow at the center sets off the colors even more. This one is a must have in my humble opinion!!!!!

And finally, here's Neil's Plum Puddin. A very pretty plum color plant that produces a heavy bloom count.

All of our day-brightening blooms come from our friend Sharon - who is the lucky one. She gets to see all these incredible plants every day.

Streps like the cooler weather and sometimes bloom their best when kept slightly cooler than normal house temps.

Thanks again, to Sharon for sharing these lovely blooms!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Saintpaulia Hybrid Roots, A Look at What's Under the Soil.

 A young Ness' Crinkle Blue suffered for this post. Here are some of it's roots washed off for the most part and exposed for your viewing enjoyment!
The following photos are somewhat similar but interesting in that you usually don't get to see how the roots of your plant branch and attach themselves into the soil.
 Wikipedia describes the basics of roots in their article, which is one of many about the subject.

Roots preform a multitude of tasks for the plant including: "The four major functions of roots which are 1) absorption of water and inorganic nutrients, 2) anchoring of the plant body to the ground and 3) storage of food and nutrients and 4) to prevent soil erosion."
 Here is a root hair, which is also like the hair that sometimes occur on plant leaves. It's function is to increase the surface area of the roots for nutrient absorption.
 The roots grow from the tips, or the region known as the apical meristem. It elongates the root. Wikianswers describes it thusly: "An apical meristem is of each root tip a dividing zone that forms new cells in two directions. The meristem produces new cells in front of itself that become a loose fitting rootcap. Layers of cells in this cap are continually brushed off as the root elongates between soil particles. The cap is perpetually renewed by tiers old cells being formed and pushed down from the meristem.

 Another shot of the cool root hair which are usually single cells that become elongated and rarely branched.
 Here is the transition between the roots and the stem.
And finally, where the nutrients and water go after they are extracted from the soil.