species violets

alenka(6)October 23, 2007

For those who grow species violets, a few questions:

Do they need to be treated any differently from the hybrids? (And also, do different species have requirements, or are all pretty much the same?)

Do they mind dry winters?

Which ones would grow well in a windowsill?

Oh, and which one is your favorite?

Thanks in advance!

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robitaillenancy1(zone 5)

I have never grown species but I am wondering since their leaves are thinner if the amount of light they prefer is about the same as for other violets.

As a judge I know that species are allow to grow with more than one crown. Rules to follow judging species is different from that of judging other standards.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 5:35PM
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I have grown a few species from time to time and I treat them like my other violets except that I don't remove any suckers. Species are shown as they grow with multiple crowns or in a rosette form. I find the easiest ones to grow are:
S. grandifolia #299 (S 7a) 1958 (B. Burtt) Single dark blue-violet, one or more per peduncle, very floriferous. Light to medium green, elliptical, very thin, crinkled, long flexible petiole. Usually single crown. Large. Saintpaulia species
S. ionantha (S 5) 1893 (H. Wendland) Single blue-violet, 4-5 per peduncle, very floriferous. Dark green, pointed, heart-shaped, tends to spoon, thick, quilted, glossy, slightly serrated, long red-brown petiole/red back. Large. Saintpaulia species
S. rupicola (S 10) 1964 (B. Burtt) Single light-medium blue, three or more per peduncle. Light-medium green, heart-shaped, soft, smooth, glossy, velvety/light back. Leaves sometimes thick. Multi-crowned standard or bushy trailer. Saintpaulia species
These three seem to tolerate extremes from temps and watering quite well. Rupicola grows with many crowns and the other two tend to grow with a single rosette. All three are easy to grow. In fact if you have FC2 you can see what my grandifolia 299 looks like.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 8:29PM
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Nancy, that's a good point with light, I'll watch that when I get my plants. Thanks!

Fred, I don't have FC2 -- but I googled S. grandifolia #299, maybe one of the images that came up is of your plant. It definitely looks like a very interesting, different plant. I think I'll try it, looks like the violet gallery has it. And I actually just got a small S. rupicola, so I'm glad to read that you found it to be easy. These two should be good for a start (S. ionantha looks too much like many of the hybrids, at least from the pictures online :) ). Thanks for the advice! Oh, and have you grown S. velutina? It looks really different too, but I'm wondering if it's a particularly difficult one.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 9:52PM
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