With almost 6 more weeks of winter to go and more than a foot of snow completely covering my front and back yard, I feel rather restless. Seed planting has not been a rewarding experience for me; so a few days ago I braved the snow and went to a nursery in the neighboring Massachusetts town, but could not find any flowering plants I like and the leftover ones were all wilted and spent.
I took a chance by stopping at the local Home Depot and checked out their leftover plants, not really expecting to find anything worthwhile. I ended up with 3 different plants, all at a bargain price.
Let me tell you about my special find of the African Violet, at $1.99 for a 4 inch pot. The flowers are bi-colored, pink and white and the fleshy, oval leaves with very fine hair look quite healthy.
(I've even tried to take pictures to look like the one Sheila posted in her recent Postcard to a snowbird entry ).
I now realize how little I know and appreciate the African Violet.
Its real name is Saintpaulia, in the family Gesneriaceae, native to Tanzania. The flowers resemble the true violets (Viola, family Violaceae); hence the name African violet.. The genus was named after Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire (1860 - 1910), who discovered the plant in Tanganyika, now Tanzania, in Africa in 1892.