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Systematic Collecting

Posted by fortyseven none (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 26, 13 at 2:00

Linda, Irina, and Anyone who wants to reply,
Is there a systematic method of collecting that you know of? Seems that people have their own methods of
deciding what they want to collect.
As I learn more about various hybridizers and series, I have begun collecting, but not too systemically.
I have a short list in the back of my mind of hybridizers to look for - but now many of them no longer sell their
own plants. So it is up to what growers will offer for sale.
I am trying to have a well-rounded, representative collection that is not too large.
Any thoughts welcome.


This post was edited by fortyseven on Fri, Dec 27, 13 at 9:41

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Systematic Collecting


Buy what you like. When I first started growing, I didn't care much for variegated foliage. Now I love it. I grow mostly standards. I have a few minis and semis and I'm not particularly fond of trailers although I have two or three.

Red is my favorite color and I am drawn to anything with a red bloom. I don't care for white or green that much. I also like frilly, double, edged; anything fancy. If I am going to put effort into growing a plant, I want it to be very showy.

So, it's really a personal preference. I have no breeders that I favor although I do have many Cajun's, (frilly, doubles, interesting blooms) and a lot of Russians.

Buy what you like and see how it grows for you. If it doesn't do well, you will have room for more, new and different!

As for being happy or unhappy with the resulting blooms-you spends your money and you take your chances.

Have fun on your trip!


RE: Systematic Collecting

Hi Linda,
Thanks for all you wrote!
I love the reds, too!

This post was edited by fortyseven on Fri, Dec 27, 13 at 9:45

RE: Systematic Collecting

I find that there is a dearth of information about anything other than a plant's flowers, and sometimes the plant's foliage.

Generally, you have little idea about the plant's structure, general health, floriferousness, etc.

You do come to know that there are some favorites out there, which generally turn out to be good selections.

RE: Systematic Collecting

  • Posted by seaj none (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 26, 13 at 22:10

I haven't started collecting yet, but I do have a pretty extensive list of plants that I want. Since there are so many to sort through, I let others do the work for me. I don't have plans to show plants, but the bulk of my list is made of proven show winners. Most of those varieties are good growers, have beautiful symmetrical foliage, and bloom heavily. I don't mind that they are common among enthusiasts. It's also not just about the blooms for me. I know that most plants don't bloom continuously, so foliage does carry a lot of weight for me. Some of those variegated plants don't even need blooms to look great. I do also think that Optimara plants are good performers, and seem vigorous without the need for much light. I also think that micro plants are nice because it's easy to squeeze so many in a space. In order of importance, I look for these qualities.

Foliage - Growth should be vigorous, and symmetrical. Variegation is a big plus.
Flowers - Plants should be floriferous. Mostly into patterned flowers, but any thing vibrant will do. I'm the type that likes one of everything.
Size - I would prefer many smaller plants verses a couple giants.
Novelty - Micros, giants, unique/odd/huge flowers, leaf chimeras, longifolia leaves. Anything I find really unique can be accommodated for.

It's also important to know that hybridizers breed plants to perform well in their own conditions. Plants that perform best under greenhouse conditions may not like fluorescents and vice versa.

RE: Systematic Collecting


I never thought about that but anything other than flower and foliage type and color is rarely included in a plant's description.
Maybe because a plant behaves differently wherever it is grown so anything written would be a generality. It would be nice, however, to know if a violet tends toward sparse blooming or low light, etc..

I buy from Blue Mountain Violets on E Bay quite a lot and he has great descriptions. He mentions whether a plant is an easy bloomer, not for beginners, light requirements and such. It's a great help.


If you like fancy variegation, try 'Pink Feathers' and 'Fisherman's Paradise'. Beautiful!
Also, differing growing conditions is one reason it is desirable to grow from a leaf rather than purchase a plant. The leaf-grown plant will adjust to your conditions as it grows whereas a plant may not be able to.


RE: Systematic Collecting

  • Posted by seaj none (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 27, 13 at 1:57

Linda, I already have those two on my list! I haven't seen it in person, but Fisherman's Paradise is already a favorite. It simply looks amazing all the time. I do plan on ordering leaves, mostly to save money, once I get my grow shelf set up. Whatever resulting plants that don't thrive here will just have to find new homes.

RE: Systematic Collecting

Hi Saej, A variegated plant
that is compact is Christmas
The edge variegates
bloom more normally and shape well. They look good
when not in bloom.

This post was edited by fortyseven on Tue, Mar 25, 14 at 5:25

RE: Systematic Collecting

I mostly select what appeals to me and see how they grow in my conditions. I don't grow minis any longer unless they are trailers. I like standards with variegated leaves but have my share of green leaved varieties. Because of their instability, I don't select fantasy blooms often. Some chimeras are dramatic and I would have more except for the expense.
I've been growing violets for many years so have sifted through a number of them and as expected some perform very well, some so-so, & others aren't worth the space. Its a continuing cycle of purchase, grow, discard if needed, purchase some more, etc. . . but isn't it fun!

RE: Systematic Collecting

I started out by choosing varieties that were as different from each other as I could, I wanted different colors and types of foliage and bloom. Then I kind of switched to hybridizers. Also, after a while I decided I don't really like minatures, so I am now concentrating on standards and a few semi-miniatures that are really strong plants, and trailers. Trailers do very well for me for some reason.
I love reds too, but I have trouble getting them to bloom. It has been one long trial and error experiment and has been great fun too. I love the variegated plants but they don't do really well for me, good growth but no blooms. One great one that has bloomed beautifully for me is Frosty Fun.

RE: Systematic Collecting

Seems that we are all in agreement that the collection evolves with time. You start with initial accumulation of everything - than you keep the ones that talk to you.


RE: Systematic Collecting

My preferences are constantly evolving, and I don't have a lot of self control, so sticking to a plan is generally a joke. I do try, but frequently fail at impulse control.
I do absolutely like to buy in person, whether at a grower's (LLG and VB are reasonably close) or at shows. The best thing I ever did was take a card and pen into a show and write the names of the most stupendous violets that I saw displayed. I targeted the ones I liked best in my shopping for a while.

RE: Systematic Collecting

I've been perusing some of the winners at AV shows, listed in AV magazine. It's fun to try to identify trends towards certain varieties ... like a violet that may have been best of show or the like at several shows ... and then try to tailor one's acquisitions to that. I love the russian/ukranian leaves and have a bunch down. Some show pups in a hurry, others are taking months. I have several leaves that are quite large and can only imagine when/if they choose to get big. I like outside plants too, and have been systematically collecting hosta for decades. I always thought it was cool when I had over 450 varieties ... and there were 5,000 varieties. Now there are over 8,000. The 'goal' once was owning ten percent. Well, with what 15k varieties of AVs, I'm thinking of trimming it to owning just one percent. Systematic insanity.

RE: Systematic Collecting


If you have a smart phone, take a photo of the show plant you like followed by a photo of the name. Make things easy-peasy!


RE: Systematic Collecting

Hi Perle
I like the reds, also. I have several different solid color
reds that had an initial blooming, but then did not
bloom for a very long time.
However, once they bloomed again, they
seem to be blooming constantly, although a small
amount of blooms. They don't seem to be as abundant
in the number of blooms as other AVs. Some of the geneva edge reds seem to bloom more heavily than the solid

Dave, the hostas do sound wonderful.
Your AV collection is probably glorious!

Irina, Which in particular are the most "chatty" lately?
My purples are "the blabbermouths," they like to
show off. But my mosaic variegates are
demure, too shy to bloom. The Russians are easy-
going, happy to strut their stuff, and not picky about
care. This past season, I have been trying to get
various pink varieties to talk to me. Too soon to tell
which ones like it at my house.

RE: Systematic Collecting

Joanne, I have two Optimara reds that have bloomed before (North Carolina and R. Scarlett) but then didn't rebloom for a very long time. They are coming back into bloom now. I also have buds on Lyons Red Rocket and Buffalo Hunt. These are the first buds for them, maybe its the cooler weather. Marie Lorraine and Live Wire also have buds now.
Two really good pinks are B-Man's Alessio and B-Man's Etna. Both are very good bloomers and easy to propagate. Etna has fantasy. Alessio is more of a double rose-like bloom.

RE: Systematic Collecting

Hi Perle
Thanks for the listing of AVs and descriptions! I had
Red Rocket and Buffalo Hunt also at the time
I was collecting reds. I liked both, especially BH but
due to a time of winter neglect when I was away,
they did not survive and I did not replace.

I will have to look up the two O reds you listed.
At one time, I had Optimara wine-color reds.
As has been
discussed on various threads in this forum,
when Optimaras are sold at retail in a local area,
the market gets flooded with just a few
varieties. One Christmas, I ended up giving away
all the Optimara reds I had as gifts. They were all
in bloom.

The Midnight Sun is such a dark red, it is not that
noticeable against the leaves. I like it a lot, but
the color contrast does not "pop."

thanks again, Joanne

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