Sunday, May 15, 2011
Saintpaulia 'Optimara Rita’
It is always nice to have a flower that hasn’t appeared on this site before. This is the first African Violet picture I have taken in many years. It was on a table with many other varieties at a nursery I visited last week. I was a bit skeptical when I read the tag and it told me to check optimar.info for the name of this plant. I did and it was easy to find my flower. It is quite a website and one thing I found of interest was their horticultural glossary. This definition of an African Violet is courtesy of Optimara.com
African Violet: Sometimes called Violet. A flowering house plant of the gesneriad family. Most common species is Saintpaulia ionantha, though altogether, there are 20 confirmed species. (See Saintpaulia and the species names that follow.) While African Violets are generally recognized for their distinctive rosette growth habit, trailing forms are also common. The first recorded discovery of African Violets was in 1892 in the Usambara Mountains, now a part of Tanzania. The discovery was recorded by Baron von Saintpaul. While Saintpaul is honored with the discovery of African Violets, the AVSA notes that specimens of these flowers had been gathered as early as 1884 by Sir John Kirk.
That is lot more than I used to know about African Violets. They don’t seem as popular as before but I know there are people who are collectors and are passionate about these plants.
For more flower pictures from around the world check out:
Today’s Flowers . The links open at 1400 GMT.
This Azalea is blooming in my garden now. It has been beautiful every year for the ten years I have lived here. Despite the fact it had about 8 feet of snow on it this winter it is again doing well. A couple of big branches broke when I shoveled the roof but even those still attached branches are blooming. They will get cut off after flowering.
"And in the woods a fragrance rare
Of wild azaleas fills the air,
And richly tangled overhead
We see their blossoms sweet and red."
Dora Read Goodale
(1866 - 1915)