190 pages, 300 colour photos, 100 illustrations, tables
Language: English, also available in French
African violets are one of the most popular houseplants in the world. The original wild plants are blue flowered and found in the forests of Tanzania and Kenya. Many new collections of the wild plants have been made in the last 30 years, such as the Mather and Uppsala collections, and the classification of genus Saintpaulia has recently undergone revision. One of the goals of Saintpaulia: The History and Origins of the African Violet is to educate the reader about the wild species plants, their new classification, and to help conserve them for future generations. You may think you know what an African violet looks like, but the diversity in growth form and leaf texture found in the wild species will be a pleasant surprise. Saintpaulia: The History and Origins of the African Violet will be a great help to the African violet collector in growing and understanding the species.
African violets have a reputation of being difficult to grow. However, the chapters on growing African violets will show that this is not the case as long as simple care needs are met. The genetic diversity of the wild species has been used by hybridizers to develop a number of specialty forms of African violets such as miniatures and trailers. Sections in Saintpaulia: The History and Origins of the African Violet will introduce the reader to the process of hybridization and how to grow these newer forms of the plant. The African violet offers charms and challenges to a grower both as a wild species plant and has a highly developed genetic hybrid.
1. History and origins of the African violet
2. Species of the genus Saintpaulia
3. Elements of culture of African violet
4. Pests and diseases
6. The African violet trailers
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Francine Pilon spent almost 14 years researching to produce this book in French and almost 2 years to make the English version; a journey she feels qualifies as a passionate adventure. Trained as a illustrator and a graphic designer her interest in African violets dates to May 1992 following a visit to a local annual Show. Specializing in the species and trailing varieties for the last 18 years, Francine is know for her unbridled enthusiasm and dynamism at the discussions and workshops she holds at various African violet clubs and at different Horticultural Society. Francine also interest herself in hybridizing especially with species in the Genus Saintpaulia. To date she has registered 13 trailers, one semiminiature and two standard single crown with African Violet Society of America. So far, three of its hybrids have already won the prize for the best introduction into various local exhibition. Since 1999 Francine has served on committees in numerous African violet Society and was an organizing committee for the 2001 National African Violet Convention held in Longueuil.