My Yellow African Violet Quest

African violet Lemon Cream

My quest for a better yellow African violet started in 2004, when I first started hybridizing. I wasn’t happy with the yellow-promise African violets available, like Lemon Cream, Ness’s Fantasy Gold, and Susie Sunshine:

The amount of yellow color in the blooms varied or sometimes didn’t show at all, or they had too much pink in their blooms, poorly shaped flower petals and poor growth habits.

Seeking a better yellow African violet, I first crossed Susie Sunshine with Ness’s Fantasy Gold. Although my initial efforts produced some interesting results I wasn’t happy with them. Then, as life does, things got busy and my hybridizing efforts were put on hold indefinitely. I saved a couple of leaves from my most yellow F1 hybrid (nicknamed “19S”) for future use, and trashed the rest.

Fast forward to 2013, this is a photo of “19S-4” – a plant grown from a leaf taken from a plant grown from a leaf from a plant grown from that original F1 hybrid of Susie Sunshine x Ness’s Fantasy Gold. Does anyone know how that should ‘officially’ be annotated in hybridizing? Is it a fourth-generation plant?

This plant has vivid yellow streaks throughout crystalline white blooms, and dark, glossy leaves. Unfortunately, my digital camera refuses to accurately register yellow colors. I’ve tried adjusting white balance etc. but to no avail. (If you have any tips, please share!)

Last month I pollinated Golden Autumn and Alchemy Morning Star with pollen from 19S-4:

Alchemy Morning Star is a dropper (the blooms are not sticktite – an undesirable trait) but the yellow color is solid throughout the flower and it has a nice growth habit overall. Fingers crossed for seed pods!

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  1. Hi

    I love your quest for a good yellow & I hope you have good luck with that. I’ve been in touch with David Senk and he’s going to start hybridizing again. He also tried to achieve a good yellow and did pretty well, I think.

    I have an ulterior motive for contacting you. I see you have Fool’s Gold. I’ve been trying to find a source for that one, with little success. I found it in Ukraine but they didn’t reply. I hope it won’t be lost. If you are willing to share it or know where I can get it, please let me know.

    Are you on Facebook? I’m not a big fan of Facebook but we have there are some very big groups and really nice people. They’re so friendly & generous. I like it better than the forum I was on before. Even David Senk joined one of the groups! You could post a photo of your cute little girl noid & maybe get an answer. Its really a nice one. I love the foliage.

    Thanks for any help you can provide.


  2. Hi, Patty –

    I grew Fool’s Gold years ago but unfortunately no longer have it in my collection. Most of my old and unusual varieties came from Belisle’s Violet House which is no longer in business. However, Linda Rowe of Bloomin’ Jungle bought out their stock so you might have some luck in contacting her.

    Also, if you a member of the AVSA you can submit your request to the “Most Wanted” list and you will be contacted when someone has it available to share.


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