Gesneriad Plant Show

Last week's Gesneriad Society meeting had a wonderful plant show. There were many dozens of mostly blooming Streptocarpus, Sinningia, and Saintpaulia, with the odd Episcia or others floating around (literally!).

I felt a bit like a stealthy ninja going around taking photos, because I was alone in the first room. But after I was in the second room for a few minutes, other people (with tripods, no less) wandered in to shoot pictures. So I figured it was okay.



This was from the "plant material arranged with wires and other stuff in a jar full of water" portion of the show. I thought the jars were cool, but they almost reminded me of walking through the stereotypical Mad Scientist laboratory with pickled and preserved things in jars lining every shelf, eyes peering at you, hands twitching...


I liked this one better because one of the flowers detached and floated to the top of the container. It makes the unnatural arrangement seem a bit more entropic and natural.


To me, it's amazing plants can live in such small quantities of soil. It seems gesneriad enthusiasts revel in that very Japanese of obsessions--small small small! How many plants can you fit in a 2-inch pot? If you use gesneriads, tons, apparently.


The container planters seemed more interesting to me, if only because they had a wider array of gesneriads and companion plants. It seemed more realistic that way!


Now, on the the flowers! This is Sinningia "Peridots" (Should that be "Peridot's"? I'm just reciting the information from the show tag.). This plant had the largest flowers in the entire room. Gesneriads are showy, most definitely, but they don't sport flowers of impressive size. And, y'know, this is purple, so it gets about 15 extra points on my Like-O-Meter.


This is Kohleria "Peridot's Kitlope" (or should this one not have the apostrophe?), and it comes from Ontario, so I'm a fan. I like how this one (if you ignore the fused tube-like area) looks exactly like every flower little kids (and I) doodle on homework or notepads during meetings/conferences.


Saintpaulia "Raspberry Sizzle." This African violet totally lives up to the name. I'm often confused about how these names are derived, but "Raspberry Sizzle" is sexy, frilly, robust, and almost violent. I imagine if I combined Strawberry Shortcake and Lara Croft into plant form, I'd get this Saintpaulia.


This Streptocarpus "Summer Parfait" doesn't exactly look as edible as its name makes it out to be, but it is amazingly pretty. Unfortunately, I didn't run across any of these at the plant sale, but I'm happy with my "Vampire's Kiss." Unless it dies. Then I'll be unhappy.


This is Conandron ramondiodes. It won so many awards, I believe, for its profusement of tiny flowers and the rarity of the plant. There was an informational printout next to the plant--it's is found naturally in Southeast Asia and Japan, and purple flowers are the most common, but there are also white and, like this one, pink flowers. I didn't really care one way or the other, but the judges clearly thought this plant was a mighty specimen.

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3 Responses to Gesneriad Plant Show

  1. The poor designer of the glass bowl with the floating blossom was probably mortified...don't think it was meant to do that :) Tickles me that it's what you liked about it though...

    I've only been to one African Violet show - once years ago when I talked my husband into leaving before daylight to drive to the Bay State show in MA. We arrived during a lull and I remember feeling very 'stealth ninja' also taking a few pictures!

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  2. I didn't even think of that... Now I feel (somewhat) bad for enjoying that arrangement! I'll hope that it happened only after the judging occurred.

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  3. Nice shots. Kohlerias are nice in general (more so beacause they're a lot easier than a lot of gesneriads!) and that one is no exception.

    That Saintpaulia 'Raspberry Sizzle' though really stands out as being much more awesome than most "normal" African Violets.

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