Is this Norah Church?

rob_peace(VIC Aust)August 25, 2005

More work for the off season violet collectors of the Northern Hemisphere! This seedling 'arrived' in a seed pot of 'Lianne'. Some plants of 'Lianne' came up, too! The colour shows a little more purple blue than silvery amethyst in the pic. It is a lavender grey flower in the morning light in August. The colour is similar to 'Jack Sampson' from my collection. The shape of the flower is quite different. Does anyone recognise this to be 'Norah Church'?

Thanks, everyone!


Image link:

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etii(France 8)

Donno what her name is !
However, the pic is gorgeous :-))) Go on working and offering us such wonderful thing to view :-)
Whatever this violet is, the different from a common odorata is not big...pityful :-)

Take care

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 3:22AM
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stefanb8(z7 MD)

Could it also simply be a hybrid seedling that bears some resemblance to another cultivar? If the potted plants came from seed only, I would think this the likeliest possibility (especially if it's surrounded by seedlings similar to 'Lianne').

I must admit I'm a bit confused over how violets are named - are they cultivars that must be strictly vegetatively propagated, or are they seed strains? I'm sure it's common to name seedlings as the parents, but I am beginning to wonder if it is all right and proper. We could be drifting away from the original cultivar in some important respects and not even be aware of it! What do you think?


    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 6:35AM
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rob_peace(VIC Aust)

good point, stefan.
most of the seed which will germinate comes from the cleistogamous 'flowers'. these are self fertilised before the bud opens. as a result, mostly violets come true from seed. this is true of sweet peas, too. they normally come true as they fertilise themselves well before the flower opens. to intercept this is quite a challenge of floral dissection. millet mentions he raised batches of a variety to try to improve or strengthen it. he reports some to be very resistant to varieties can often be raised true from seed. i think the problem arises with the exploding capsule. seeds of unexpected neighbours can contaminate a batch...and i suspect this is what has happened. the lianne flowers resemble those on clive groves web site....clive was the donor of the seed in this case.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 7:19AM
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We will never be sure of the right name but "the Norah Church"(?) I used to grow ( originated from england) had more rounded petals, specially the lowers ones...XXXX

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 1:27PM
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rob_peace(VIC Aust)

ah! thank you.....those are the clues i need...

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 5:43PM
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stefanb8(z7 MD)

I suppose that it does become difficult to separate seedlings from their parents if they look more or less identical, even if you want to maintain clonal purity... :-) I hadn't thought that one through. It does seem that there is at least more potential for variation and eventual change in a variety's character through hybridization, even if selfed seedlings always come true. Along those lines, I would have to wonder if Millet's improvements could actually have been the result of hybridization rather than simple genetic variation - I guess we need more graduate students interested in violets to figure it out!

At least seed generation probably helps to rid the genome of things like viruses and perhaps phytoplasmas, so it is certainly a good idea for a rather disease-susceptible plant such as the violet to be able to at least produce clonal (or nearly so) seed. If my double violet only could perform this simple task, it wouldn't be in such danger of being lost now! No doubt this is equally a failing in the Parmas, and just one more reason to try our hardest to raise new varieties from seed.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 6:38PM
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rob_peace(VIC Aust)

thankfully, some of the double hardy violets do occasionally produce seed. some years back, i imported double rose de bruant. it was a weak grower and generally miffy plant. (a slang word for you!) one day, i noticed a seed pod with a single seed in it. the parent plant had never exceeded 5cm in 5 years. the seedling was much more healthy and in the next five years spread to half a metre! i called this clone 'victorian double rose'. (my home state is victoria and violets relate to the 'victorian' era.) i sent this clone to california and JW noted it to be far better than the clone he had previously been growing. some pathogens seem to have been removed and the plant 'restored' to it's former vigour.....

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 4:13AM
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stefanb8(z7 MD)


Thanks for the great story; I didn't know that particular cultivar had been reborn in such a way! Canyon Creek must not have gotten around to offering that one yet. I keep hoping my doubles will produce seed (I've never seen it), but perhaps they have, and the healthy looking portion of my otherwise virused doubles is actually from a rare pod. Not that it's anything terribly unusual, mind you, probably something like the plain double V. odorata that's been around forever - but then again, I've never seen that offered in this country and wonder if it's otherwise extirpated here. If it does prove healthy, I ought to share it with Canyon Creek so it can be appreciated by a (slightly) wider audience. Hardy doubles certainly are far and few between here.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 10:12AM
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The surprise is that I discovered that Norah Church is still alive at home! It's blooming is a pic to compare with yours Rob..I see differences no?? :-))

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 5, 2005 at 10:50AM
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