The history of African Violet

The history of African Violet

Postby Birgitt » April 22nd, 2015, 12:09 am

The history of African Violet

illustrator wrote:.................................
..........................................................
(the first pink flowering plant was just a young plant grown from a leaf, and the parent had dark violet flolwers!).

.............................


Hello Paul.

1896 appeared a deep lilac red Saintpaulia ionantha (Saintpaulia ionantha rubra)
1900 appeared Saintpaulia ionantha grandiflora violacea.
1905 appeared Saintpaulia ionantha alba
1917 appeared Saintpaulia ionantha lilacina

archive.org
Saintpaulia ionantha rubra
Full text of "Gartenflora" 1896, Page 607, bottom right,(unfortunately only in german)
https://archive.org/stream/gartenflora4 ... 6/mode/2up

archive.org
Saintpaulia ionantha alba
Full text of "Die Gartenwelt" 1905 , Page 277, bottom right, (unfortunately only in german)
https://archive.org/stream/diegartenwel ... 6/mode/2up

When the Saintpaulia ionantha was presented in 1893 at the flower show in Geneva, Ernst Benary quickly realized the potential of Saintpaulia ionantha and acquired the distribution rights for it. And then by the company Benary propagated and grown and 1894 saw the introduction in the world seed trade.

The company Haage & Schmidt (Erfurt) sold Saintpaulia ionantha seeds.

Old seed list of 1917
Potted plants Seeds, Page 144, number 10369-10373

Bücherei des Deutschen Gartenbaues e. V.
http://gartentexte-digital.ub.tu-berlin ... /06166.jpg

Bücherei des Deutschen Gartenbaues e. V.
http://gartentexte-digital.ub.tu-berlin ... olume=1917
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Re: The history of African Violet

Postby Birgitt » April 22nd, 2015, 12:13 am

illustrator wrote:
Birgitt wrote:
illustrator wrote:.................................
..........................................................
(the first pink flowering plant was just a young plant grown from a leaf, and the parent had dark violet flolwers!).

.............................


Hello Paul.

1896 appeared a deep lilac red Saintpaulia ionantha (Saintpaulia ionantha rubra)
1900 appeared Saintpaulia ionantha grandiflora violacea.
1905 appeared Saintpaulia ionantha alba
1917 appeared Saintpaulia ionantha lilacina


Thanks a lot for the links! Very, very interesting! The first one describes that S. ionantha was brought in trade "three years ago", meaning around 1893. Apparently back them violets were multiplied by seeds. I have some difficulties imagining which colour this red one was, but presumably similar to the current reds. This is much earlier than I imagined because untill now I thought that the first colour varieties appeared many years after the first ten were named, mainly as mutations of Blue Boy.

There is still a "white ionantha" around, which is almost white (but not albinistic, just very pale). I don't think that this plant is grown in Europe, and I also don't know if it is the same plant as "alba". Interesting :mrgreen:
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Re: The history of African Violet

Postby Gabi_Munich » April 22nd, 2015, 12:18 am

Thanks a lot for giving us this Information on the history! It is really interesting.
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Re: The history of African Violet

Postby Birgitt » April 22nd, 2015, 1:04 am

Hello Paul,

do you think determines the American history of African violets (From the history of African violets in Germany is not much known.). But the American history of the African Violet begins only when Armacost & Royston, orchid specialist from Los Angeles, in 1926 imported seed from Senary in Germany and Sutton in England. The seed sown them under the tables of orchids. They gave them little interest. Only when their customers then asked what they would have under the tables there, her interest was piqued.
In 1935 they released the first varieties: Admiral, Amethyst, Blue Boy, Commodore, Mermaid, Neptune, Norseman, Number 32, Sailor Boy and Viking. It is called the "original Ten".Thus, they contributed to much of the popularity of the African violet.

Admiral
ADMIRAL (AVS48) (Armacost & Royston) Single violet. Dark green, quilted.


Amethyst
AMETHYST (12) 11/26/1957 (Armacost & Royston) Single red-orchid. Heartshaped,
quilted, glossy. Standard


Blue Boy
BLUE BOY (41) (Armacost & Royston) Single dark violet-blue. Ovate,
pointed.


Commodore
COMMODORE (AVS48) (Armacost & Royston) Single dark purple. Long,
quilted, glossy. Large


Mermaid
MERMAID - (Original 10) Small flowered variety. Flowers are medium blue.


Neptune
NEPTUNE (AVS48) (Armacost & Royston) Single medium blue-violet. Ovate,
cupped, quilted. Large


Norseman
Norseman (AVS48) (Armacost & Royston) Single medium blue. Ovate. Standard


Number 32
NUMBER 32 (AVS48) (Armacost & Royston) Single medium blue-violet.
Cupped, quilted.


Sailor Boy
SAILOR BOY (AVS48) (Armacost & Royston) Single light blue. Quilted.


Viking
VIKING (655) 1948 (Armacost & Royston) Single dark violet. Dark green,
quilted.

1926 - Armacost & Royston, Los Angeles, import seed
1935 - Armacost & Royston release first 10 varieties
1939 - First double-blossomed plant appears
1942 - First true pink blossom appears from seed
1943 - First true white blossom appears from seed



1942 Ruggeri Peter to register patent of a white Saintpaulia ionantha.

google.com/patents
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE AFRICAN VIOLET Peter Ruggeri, San Francisco, Calif.
Application June 29, 1942, Serial No. 448,915

http://www.google.com/patents/USPP597



But in Germany appeared as early as 1905, a white African violets.

archive.org
Saintpaulia ionantha alba
Full text of "Die Gartenwelt" 1905 , Page 277, bottom right, (unfortunately only in german)
https://archive.org/stream/diegartenwel ... 6/mode/2up

archive.org
Saintpaulia ionantha white
Full text of "The Garden" Illustradet Weekly Journal 1915, Page 25, bottom right (in english)
https://archive.org/stream/gardenillust ... 7/mode/2up


archive.org
Saintpaulia ionantha
Saintpaulia ionantha rubra
Full text of "United States Exotic Nurseries", Page 19
https://archive.org/stream/CAT31284017#page/18/mode/2up
Last edited by Birgitt on May 4th, 2015, 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The history of African Violet

Postby illustrator » April 22nd, 2015, 8:38 pm

The First Ten are still grown in the USA, I think even all of them. But nearly 90 years of growing them has made things messy. When you look at the names of our plants it appears that three of the First ten are in Europe. But:

The plant which circulates as Neptune is in fact Woodland Sprite. This is a very nice, wild-violet like plant in it's own right and if you ask me worth growing, but it is not the original Neptune: http://forum.african-violet.eu/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=381&hilit=woodland+sprite

There is a plant grown as "Number 32", which has dark violet flowers and quilted leaves which are not cupped. It can easily go wrong with colour descriptions, but the not cupped leaves make me wonder if it is really the correct plant. Does anyone know of old photographs of Number 32? Here is a picture of mine: http://forum.african-violet.eu/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=278&p=1540&hilit=number+32#p1540

And finally I just got Amethyst from Angelika (thanks again!). It is still a small plug plant and is struggeling with the very different growing circumstances in my home, not a good time to make pictures. It has a flower bud which is just opening in a red-violet colour. I think that later flowers will be better coloured and better developed. Maybe the correct plant?

Please note that I am a huge fan of old plants and I like growing plants like these, even when they turn out to have a wrong name. But I also like a good challenge to get the identifications correct!

For flower colours we could use the chart on back cover of the booklet from Colin Watkins (The Wild African Violet Saintpaula (gesneriaceae) An Interim Guide).
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Re: The history of African Violet

Postby illustrator » April 22nd, 2015, 8:45 pm

Another challenge is the identity of the plant known as Saintpaulia ionantha "House of Amani". It seems to be listed as a wild violet = species lately, the discussion is here: http://african-violet.eu/forum/viewtopic.php?f=54&t=190
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Re: The history of African Violet

Postby Birgitt » April 23rd, 2015, 11:46 am

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA HERBARIUM
COLLECTIONS CATALOG

Saintpaulia

Saintpaulia 'El Star' (An F1 from Saintpaulia velutina.)
5. Saintpaulia ionantha
5h. subspecies velutina

Is Saintpaulia 'El Star' a clon of velutina?

Saintpaulia 'Elstar' is not in the list.
http://gesneriadsociety.org/wp-content/ ... pecies.pdf
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Re: The history of African Violet

Postby illustrator » April 23rd, 2015, 7:53 pm

The leaf shape seems to be correct for velutina. Of velutina there are at least two different clones around:
- the small one which we have here in Europe, which has pale flowers
- a standard one with dark violet flowers which is grown in the USA

In general I think that we have some different wild violets in the EU, because some of ours are from European botanical gardens, which got some of their plants directly from nature.
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Re: The history of African Violet

Postby Birgitt » April 25th, 2015, 9:18 pm

archive.org
Hermann Wendland presents the Saintpaulia ionantha.
Full text of "GartenFlora" 1893, Page 321-324,
https://archive.org/stream/gartenfloraz ... 3/mode/2up
https://archive.org/stream/gartenfloraz ... 2/mode/2up
https://archive.org/stream/gartenfloraz ... 4/mode/2up
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Re: The history of African Violet

Postby Birgitt » April 26th, 2015, 11:00 pm

Global Plants
Global Plants is the world’s largest database of digitized plant specimens.

plant specimens and Information of Saintpaulia ionantha
https://plants.jstor.org/search?filter= ... a+ionantha
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Re: The history of African Violet

Postby illustrator » April 28th, 2015, 9:14 pm

Birgitt wrote:archive.org
Hermann Wendland presents the Saintpaulia ionantha.
Full text of "GartenFlora" 1893, Page 321-324,
https://archive.org/stream/gartenfloraz ... 3/mode/2up
https://archive.org/stream/gartenfloraz ... 2/mode/2up
https://archive.org/stream/gartenfloraz ... 4/mode/2up


These links give a failure notice to me. Do you have to be logged in somewhere to see them?
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Re: The history of African Violet

Postby illustrator » April 28th, 2015, 9:19 pm

Birgitt wrote:UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA HERBARIUM
COLLECTIONS CATALOG

Saintpaulia

Saintpaulia 'El Star' (An F1 from Saintpaulia velutina.)
5. Saintpaulia ionantha
5h. subspecies velutina

Is Saintpaulia 'El Star' a clon of velutina?

Saintpaulia 'Elstar' is not in the list.
http://gesneriadsociety.org/wp-content/ ... pecies.pdf


It is not on the list because it is a cultivated plant (grown from seed) and therefore not a wild (species) violet but a man-made hybrid. If it is registered it should be in First Class.
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Re: The history of African Violet

Postby Birgitt » April 28th, 2015, 11:51 pm

illustrator wrote:
Birgitt wrote:archive.org
Hermann Wendland presents the Saintpaulia ionantha.
Full text of "GartenFlora" 1893, Page 321-324,
https://archive.org/stream/gartenfloraz ... 3/mode/2up
https://archive.org/stream/gartenfloraz ... 2/mode/2up
https://archive.org/stream/gartenfloraz ... 4/mode/2up


These links give a failure notice to me. Do you have to be logged in somewhere to see them?


It takes a few seconds for the link can be seen.
I'll send you a PM


illustrator wrote:
It is not on the list because it is a cultivated plant (grown from seed) and therefore not a wild (species) violet but a man-made hybrid. If it is registered it should be in First Class.


Thank you for this information.
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Re: The history of African Violet

Postby Gabi_Munich » April 29th, 2015, 1:15 am

I did not have problem to access the links. It is interesting to read this old article of Mr. Wendland from more than 100 years ago. Thanks Birgitt for giving this opportunity. I would never have found it by myself.

So that's how the first African violets were presented by Mr. Wendland (if the link still does not work):

Image

Image
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Re: The history of African Violet

Postby Birgitt » May 2nd, 2015, 12:42 am

Dear all,

who knows something about Saintpaulia ionantha albescens?
As breeder J.Veitch & Sons is specified.

archive.org
Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information/ Royal Gardens at Kew.
New Garden Plants of the Year 1899
Saintpaulia ionantha albescens, Page 50, bottom left
https://archive.org/stream/mobot3175300 ... 0/mode/2up



who knows something about Saintpaulia ionantha variegata?
As breeder F.Sander & Sons is specified.

variegated leaves( light yellow turning to white ) in 1903 ? :?: :?: :?:

archive.org
Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information/ Royal Gardens at Kew.
New Garden Plants of the Year 1903
Saintpaulia ionantha variegata, Page 83, bottom right
https://archive.org/stream/mobot3175300 ... 9/mode/2up



Drawing, habitat and description of Saintpaulia ionantha

archive org.
Curtis's Botanical Magazine 1895
Habitat and description of Saintpaulia ionantha, Tab. 7408
https://archive.org/stream/mobot3175300 ... 3/mode/2up

archive org.
Curtis's Botanical Magazine 1895
Drawing of Saintpaulia ionantha, Tab 7408
https://archive.org/stream/mobot3175300 ... 1/mode/2up
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Re: The history of African Violet

Postby Birgitt » May 5th, 2015, 10:54 pm

VOLKMANN BROTHERS GREENHOUSES
THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE SAINTPAULIA

Please scroll down.

http://www.volkmannbrothers.com/history.html
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Re: The history of African Violet

Postby illustrator » May 6th, 2015, 9:53 pm

Birgitt wrote:VOLKMANN BROTHERS GREENHOUSES
THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE SAINTPAULIA

"Imagine: This was the original Saintpaulia lonantha, far eclipsed in beauty by our specimen of today!!!"l


I totally disagree with this statement! Otherwise, thanks again for the informative link!
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Re: The history of African Violet

Postby Birgitt » May 11th, 2015, 9:07 am

news.google.com/newspapers

Report: The Milwaukee Journal, Friday, March 21, 1952
"African Violet Fans Pour Money Into Wisconsin, Biggest Producer"
https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid= ... 8837&hl=de



news.google.com/newspapers

Report: Lewiston Evening Journal, 26. Jan. 1952
"Lisbon Woman Expert Grower Of All Kinds of African Violets"
https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid= ... 8827&hl=de



news.google.com/newspapers

Report: The Spokesman-Review - 29. März 1958
"Popular African Violet"
https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid= ... 1061&hl=de
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