Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Yup, African Violets Do "It"

African Violet from Nesrin

Now I'm curious. Those pretty yellow buttons in the middle of an African Violet blossom are up to something, and I think I know what it's about--violet sex.

Filaments grow up and press their anthers together.
The double pods are not visible because of the lighting.

This plant is the one from Nesrin, my Turkish friend.  It sits on my kitchen counter.  When I make the time, it's lovely to sit and just drink in the details created by this magnificent being.  High contrast colors grab the eye immediately--purple and yellow--a stunning combination.  The yellow pulls me in. Closer.  Deeper.  The tiny, yellow, four-bump pod has two stems not one!  How can that be?

Light-colored, swollen ovary at the base of the style.  Pollen-bearing
anthers pressed together on their two filaments.
With a toothpick and gentle prodding, I pry between the stems (filaments) at the base of the bumps (anthers). They hold fast. An older, wilting blossom allows the prod to separate the bumps, and pollen spills out. "Sperm." The style rises out of the center with the furry ovary next to the flower and the stigma out on the end waving its stickiness to attract the pollen. Pretty explicit viewing for Things I get to do today.
Anthers that for some reason did not make the connection--
one above the style and one below.  Some sort of
interruptus, I suppose.


  1. My Grandmther used to hybridize African violets for fun. If you get a second one that is different you can create you r new hybrid African violets. Also, give them a drink of your tea eveery so often they thrive on tea-

    1. What a great idea on the tea, Kathe. And when I get two plants (if, rather), I'll play around with their privates and make new flowers!