Last updated 15th October 2016
Hi the webmaster of this website, is in Queensland and sunny its capital Brisbane, home of the Banana Benders. The grow beautiful African violets up this way as well and have awarded prizes for their Annual Show held at Mt Coot-Tha Botanical Gardens just to the west of Brisbane.
Five major awards amongst many others were as follows:
Acknowledge the Girls!
In early days of African violet cultivation, the cultivars grown all had plain or slightly quilted foliage. At that time there were few different types, in comparison to the plethora available to us now, mutations often produced the first of a whole line of new varieties.
In 1941, amongst a large number of plants of 'Blue Boy', an early variety which is described as a "Single dark violet blue with pointed ovate leaves" there appeared a mutation with similar flowers to its sisters, but with leaves that had a whitish spot at the base where the petiole attached. The leaves also had scalloped edges. To differentiate this from 'Blue Boy', it was named 'Blue Girl'. It was reproduced and became popular, and there followed, via hybridising, a good many other plants with these leaves.
This kind of leaf became called "girl", as distinct from the plain or quilted foliage, which are sometimes called "boy".
Because of a certain "tightness" in the leaf caused by the white spot, and because of the scalloped (sometimes, even ruffled) edges, the leaves of these plants don’t usually lie flat in neatly overlapping rows. Sometimes the petioles are rather shortened and this gives a smaller plant with greater height.
Girl leaf types have never been seen much amongst those for sale in general nurseries and Trade stores. They used to be popular amongst hobby growers such as we are, but now we seem to have become fonder of flat growing types which have more potential for show. However, there are well over one hundred and seventy registered in software program “First Class” (African Violet Society of America) with the word "girl" in the names. Most of these would be girl varieties, as would many others, so why don’t we grow them?
Well spring is truly sprung and we are now entering October with no discernible change to the showers (bit windy though) down under here in Perth WA. We already have blooms coming out as the buds are multiplying on the African violets with the slightly warmer weather. Gesneriads are showing their blooms as well. Many of you will be growing near windows and this will be producing a great show for you. The cold nights will soon disappear and warmth is not too far away. Don't forget to keep your distance from your indoor plants if you have been outside doing the necessary gardening. Just be careful with bugs from the garden as you can easily carry them (pests) inside on your clothing. So be aware to brush off or change your clothing after a stint outside.
The Magnificent Ten
Ever wondered what the original set of Saintpaulia looked like? I have and of course obtaining photographs even more difficult. However, here is a description of the originals, but no images, so use your visual imagination dear visitors.
Blue Boy easy of propagation, generous flowering quality, quantity of bloom, depth of colour, flexibility for shipping – and this fine plant still holds that enviable position.
Sailor Boy particularly free-flowering with a bright sea blue blossom held well above a glossy green foliage is a very splendid African violet. The English seed produced eight African violets that still hold their place among collections as among the best.
Admiral This plant has a tendency to grow flat. The leaves are a deep dull green, slightly quilted and cupped downward, ovate with slightly cordate (heart shaped) base and an almost smooth margin. Flowers are dark blue, slightly tinged with violet in clusters of from three to five produced very freely above the foliage.
Amethyst The plant has an upright habit of growth. The leaves are medium green tinged with purple on back of leaf. The leaves are ovate, glossy, slightly quilted with toothed or dentate edge. The petioles are tinged with rose and extend to the length of 75 to 90mm. Flowers are large and bloom profusely in clusters of 6 to 8 standing well above the foliage. The top petals have a tendency to have a deeper shade.
Viking The plant has a compact, flat habit of growth. Leaves are dark green with a light streak up the centre. The underside of the leaf is a reddish purple, giving the leaf a deep rich colour. As leaves mature, they take on a glossy quilted appearance. Petioles are green flushed with purple and short forming a compact rosette. Flowers are a deep purple which many times show a slight marking around the lobes. These flowers are small but produced many flowers in clusters of from five to seven on many flower stems.
Mermaid The plant is a compact rosette. The leaves are small round and a glossy medium green, quilted on 3 to 3 ½ petioles. Flowers are a light blue, a very good bloomer. Doubt about this plant belonging to the Armacost and Royston collection has now been cleared up and though it did not appear in previous articles it was introduced by the aforesaid firm.
Norseman produced large then average blooms. Plant has a droopy compact method of growth. Leaves are ovate with almost smooth edges, acute tip and rounded bases. Leaves have a velvet appearance, glossy with quilted, overlaid with hairiness. The plant has a tendency to colour on the underside. Flowers are round clustered in 6-7 on average petioles. The flowers are the nearest true blue in a medium shade of any African violet. This plant is a very heavy bloomer and a prize in any collection.
Neptune This plant has a flat growing habit. Leaves are egg shaped, quilted and shiny; cupping upward and often very spooned. The flushing on the underside of the leaves and petioles is very deep making interesting contrast to the rich green colouring on the surface of the leaf. Flowers are medium purple. Neptune is a very distinct variety and a heavy bloomer as well.
Commodore Mature plant is very large with a drooping affect. The leaves are 90mm to 95mm long and 70mm wide cupped downward. Leaves are dark green and purple beneath, quilted with darker valleys. Flowers are a rich reddish purple appearing above the foliage on short petioles in clusters of from 6 to 8. This plant is not a prolific bloomer but the richness of foliage and deep velvet blossoms makes it standout in every collection.
№ 32 A plain name for in some observer’s opinions it exceeds the others in qualities of perfection. The plant is perfect in form, mature leaves growing flat with new leaves having a tendency to stand erect. The young leaves are quite cupped and very red on the underside making a very attractive contrast to the deep rich olive green. The leaves are ovate, slightly dentate (serrated edge), always cupped with veining very definite. Flowers are orchid violet with the same round blossom appearing just above the foliage on short flower stems in clusters of 6 to 7.
We have some lovely supporters who help us with our efforts to provide members with a variety of things for the promotion and enjoyment of growing African violets and Gesneriads. Click on their various logos to visit their respective websites.
Our Annual May Show is held at Kardinya Park Shopping Centre who provide the venue, staff to setup tables and assist with advertising. Great place to shop.
Garden City Plastics in Mallaig Way, Canning Vale, is our source for all our pots used with African violets and donate printing costs for us. They have plenty of other options with some trendy pots and patterns.
Flora Plant 822 Rowley Road, Oakford donate a selection of plants for our monthly raffles. When we pick them up they are so clean and well grown. A real treat for our member's monthly raffle.
RICHGRO in Acourt Road, Jandakot provides us our Patron who helps in many ways through each year. Geoff Richards is such a nice and supportive bloke who always attends our main functions during the year.
Where are we? Click here for a site map.
Our Society's will have a general meeting on Saturday the 19th of November 2016. There is a new password and our Membership Secretary will supply it on request to all financial members. Your Committee next meets on 5th November.
Dish gardens. You can get a lot of pleasure out of Av dish gardens, they are nice on the eye, can contain other varieties of plants combined with small figurines, stones and moss to create a setting with a beautiful miniature or Gesneriad. Grown mostly near windows or on a protected back patio. Keep rotating so there is an even exposure to light. More in Articles.
Dish gardens are considered Artistic and many different designs come from the entrants in this category for shows. Containers can vary from a flat dish to different glass bowls to terrariums to small log bases. The choice of plants to accompany the African violets or Gesneriads displayed are usually small plants but not cacti or succulents.
Streptocarpus 'Lisa's Love' Fibrous Rooted
What are some of the benefits of membership?
Join Us - Click on Membership Tab on Main Menu
Membership commences 1 July each year.
Plus $2.00 per person paid when attending our Saturday meetings including visitors and guests which is levied at the Manning Activity Centre and includes free coffee and tea.
What else do you receive - Access to the Members Only page; the Society's bi-monthly Newsletter Violet Talk; Reports about our activities; Photos of who is part of our wonderful Society; Much more information from the African violet world(interstate Newsletters) about what is happening there.
WA Country, Interstate or International Membership (e-Member) only $10.00 per calendar year January to December. Click here and join us.
Want to contact us or ask a query?
Click on the email button below and send us a "hello" or query about your African violet. Or maybe even join! Plenty of information in the Articles (12 available at the moment); and Maintenance Pages above. Also there are links to other Australian African violet groups, as well as Q&A (generic answers to some questions already there however if you have one then please submit it) at the bottom MENU of this Home page. There is also the Origins button below that provides an interesting History about African violets, including more views of the Usambara Mountains.
Email below or call 0407 702 879 for any enquiries about African violets or Gesneriad availability in the Perth area, membership (would love people to join and share with us once a month), queries about African violets in general or other related topics.
We do presentations to other clubs about African violets, the varieties, how to care for them and demonstrations. Just call or email.