Saturday, January 14, 2012

Rethinking Parentage of my A batch seeds.

I'm fairly certain the Mother is Rhapsodie Stephanie in both the A and B batch seedlings using what clues I can remember. Time purchased, 1995/1996 at the floral center of a Pick 'n Save in Milwaukee, WI. I think it was February or March. (I don't know why I remember it being those months, except it was cold out and I was very worried getting it out of the store.) I either begged my parents to buy it for me or bought it with my allowance money. It cost me about $5. I was in grade school at the time, either 5th or 6th grade. For some reason I think it was 1996, which would put me in 6th grade.

There was an Optimara label talking about the company and some blurb about Women. I can't remember if they were American Woman, but something about them contributing to history. It was a limited edition violet. There was a woman's name on it. (I can't remember if it was printed on the pot or the tag.) "Clementine" was the name on one violet with star shaped petals, that were also light blue lavender. I picked Stephanie over it because I thought the violet shaped flowers were more interesting and unique. There was also some pink violets (another Rhapsodie variety), but I liked the blue better.

Once I got home I set the violet under my grow light in the basement. I reread the label and peeled it off. I was bothered by the "propagation prohibited" part, thinking it was stupid. All plants naturally propagate, right? (At least this was my reasoning as a 12 year old.)

Sadly the plant started to rot. (I think it had powdery mold too.) Remembering the advise my grandma gave me on how to propagate violets, I took two leaves and planted them in the soil. The stem broke off on one. One leaf died. The other produced a baby. At some point I ended up with two of them. I gave one to my grandma and kept the other. I grew them unlabeled along with a deep violet African violet from my grandma. Later on (1996 or 1997?) I ended up with two nearly dead african violets my mom rescued from a store. One labeled as "Flash" The other lacked a name, but had an Anthroflores tag. Both pots were stamped with UltraViolet. I took leaves from both and potted them int he same pot. I grew them together for a while. The other I later identified as A. Ramzey. (Not sure on the spelling. it seems all over the board on the internet.) It was the only Anthoflores that resembled my violet.

Back to the A batch:

About the pollen parent:. It is a White violet. I previously thought Montana, but when dug through my email to retrieve the list of violets I received from Woodhill Greenhouses in 2008 I am left with this list:

I looked up Kazuko and compared it with my very few photos of the parent. (I only had it for about a couple weeks before it got overwatered and gave way to crown rot.)

Old photos of the violet before it died:

I wish I had more experience growing either or could see them up in person. I'm left with just my very detailed memories of my violet and my pictures. It seems like the internet is all over the board on it as well. Even some of the show pictures don't look correctly identified. (one picture that appears to be taken from a show, clearly shows purple shading on one of the petals, which would make it one of the bicolored violets, not Montana or any of these violets.)

Mine was definitely a solid white. Even if I didn't get to keep it long enough to see it through several bloom cycles, it lacked the genetics for bicolored flowers. All of the offspring are solid color or showing variable shading of one color/ with or without veining. (trait inherited from the mother, R. Stephanie) If it were any of the thumbprint violets I would have seen it in the A batch babies by now.

I'm left with these choices (based on the greenhouse list)


Pot Size: 4-inch medium standard (Yes)

Bloom Type: Single span style="font-style:italic;">(? possible, though mine was a semi-double. it's offspring are mostly singles)
Bloom Color: White (Yes)

Leaf Type: Ovate serrated (Ovate - Yes. Serrated No.)
Leaf Color: Medium green (? Either that or light green. I can't tell. Most of my other violets are dark green, so this stuck out as much lighter.)

Year Introduced: 1987
Year Revised: 1991, 1995, 2004 (purchased 2008. (Greenhouse list doesn't indicate "New". Other than that, I'm not sure what was "revised" so I don't know what to look for here..)

AVSA Registration Number: 6579/7495

Patent Number: 7685

Additional Comments: Formerly variety number 83.


Variety Number: 248

Series: Optimara

Pot Size: 4-inch large standard (4"yes. Large, not sure.)

Bloom Type: Single span style="font-style:italic;">(? possible, though mine was a semi-double. it's offspring are mostly singles)
Bloom Color: White (yes)

Leaf Type: Plain (Yes. Though no mention of being ovate? Internet photos eem all over the board here. Some show ovate examples like my plant and some don't. Previously I used the ovate leaf shape to rule out this variety.) I may still. It seems even the more rounded examples show a point at the end of each leaf. Mine did not. They were clearly rounded.

Leaf Color: Light green (maybe.)
Year Introduced: 1996
Year Revised: NA (No guesswork on what year or version, thankfully)

AVSA Registration Number:

Patent Number:

Variety Number: 283

Series: Optimara

Pot Size: 4-inch small standard (? Seemed medium standard. 4" pot yes.)

Bloom Type: Star (NO. Mine was Violet shaped. It couldn't have been this variety.)
Bloom Color: White (yes)

Leaf Type: Wavy serrated (No.)
Leaf Color: Medium green (Maybe.)

Year Introduced: 1987
Year Revised: 2003

AVSA Registration Number: 6557

Patent Number: 4782

Additional Comments: Formerly variety number 189.

Ontario. I didn't include this one because it wasn't listed on Woodhill's list.


Conclusions: Out of those listed Montana still seems to be the best match. Based on the call, they clearly mentioned they grew Optimara violets. That rules out all other varieties.

I wish I could find out what the difference is between the original 1987 version, the 1991 version, 1995, and 2004 versions. I'd like to know if any of those had ovate leaves with smooth edges.

Has anyone grown white Optimara violets? What are your thoughts?



Optimara confirmed the father as Opt. Montana II. Apparently the curled center petals were what distinguished it from the others.

Frank Nentwig of Optimara confrimed the mother to be "Stephanie". Now I have both parents identified from the A batch.

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