Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Lifecycle of an African Violet seed pod or "We're going to have BABIES!"

I think it is fair to say that my interest in hybridizing saved my interest in African Violets.  After growing them for over 20 years I had really lost my passion for the plants.  Fortunately my good friend Hortense Pittman kept putting a bug in my ear, "Why don't you do more hybridizing?"  So I took her advice and have once again embarked on the quest for the perfect violet! 

For those of you who may need a new challenge with your violets, let me introduce you to the initial result of crossing "this variety" with "that variety".

The first photograph was taken about a month after I crossed Rose Garden onto Alan's Fallen Angel.  The seed pod, as you can see, has grow to a nice size in only 30 days.

The second photograph was taken four months after the cross was made and the seed pods are fully mature.  I do allow the seed pods to fully mature on the plant (turn brown) before harvesting them.  Once harvested, I place them in a cool/dry place for about 10 days to complete the drying/maturing process.

The last photograph are the actual seeds that came from just one of the seed pods.  There are well over 100 seeds pictured.  The large, round, "plump" looking seeds are viable and should germinate in 7-20 days.  The other seed (the ones that look like dust...left side of the picture) are likely not viable and will therefore, unfortunately, not germinate.

Come back in about three weeks and I should have pictures posted showing the germinated seedlings!