ACID SOIL: Soil that has a pH of less than 7.0.

AFRICAN VIOLET MAGAZINE: Also referred to as AVM.  A Magazine produced by the African Violet Society of America for members.

ALKALINE SOIL: Soil that has a pH greater than 7.0.

ANTHER: One or more sacks which contain the pollen.

ARTIFICIAL LIGHT: Light other than that provided by the sun.

AVSA: African Violet Society of America

AVSA HANDBOOK FOR JUDGES & EXHIBITORS: This handbook contains the rules and regulations for African violet shows, judges, judging, plus other valuable information for exhibitors.

AXIL: The angle formed at the juncture of the petiole and the main stem.

BELL: Single blossoms with a bell shape.

BLOOM STALK: Peduncle, pedicel, petal, etc.

CALYX: The cup-like base of a blossom. This external part is usually green in contrast to the inner showy portion composed of colored petals.

CAPILLARY ACTION: The movement of water upward either by a wick or matting in contact with the plant container.

CHIMERA: Blossoms with stripes that radiate from the center, pinwheel.

CHLOROPHYLL: The green pigment found in the chloroplasts, necessary in the absorption of  light for use in photosynthesis.

CHROMOSOME: Microscopic, rod-like structure composed of individual units (genes) which pass on the plant’s characteristics.

CONDITION: The cultural appearance of an exhibit at the time of judging.

CROWN: The head of the plant above the soil line. African Violets are described as having single or multiple crowns.

CROWN VARIEGATION: Formerly called Champion variegation. This variegation is usually restricted to the center or crown of the plant and turns green as it progresses to the outer layers of the foliage.

CULTIVAR: A plant altered from the species through cultivation by man, either through hybridizing or mutation.  Through common usage, the word “cultivar” and “variety” are interchangeable.

DISBUDDING: Removal of the flower buds or bud stems in order to delay blooming for a later time.

DIVISION: The cutting or gently pulling apart of a plant having two or more crowns.

DOUBLE: Blossoms with at least two layers of petals.

DOUBLE POTTING: The placement of a plant, still in its smaller pot, within a larger pot with the space between the two pots filled with soil mix.

DRENCH: To wet to the point of saturation.

FANTASY: Blossoms are splotched, streaked, or rayed with contrasting color or deeper shade of the same color. The blossoms can be of any kind or shape.

FOLIAGE TYPES: Besides color the shapes of the leaves are also distinctive. Compound, Wasp, Bustle, or Piggyback: Leaves are compound with one large and two smaller lobes.

FRILLED: Blossoms have heavily serrated or frilled outer lobes. The blossoms can be any kind or shape.

EDGED: Blossoms can be any shape. Lobes of the blossoms are edged with any color.  Geneva or Geneva edged: Lobes of the blossoms are edged with white.

FERTILIZER: An enriching material used in soil (or soilless mix) to increase its productivity.

FLARED-TOP POT: A pot designed with an extended lip that serves as an additional support to the foliage.

FLORIFEROUSNESS: The quantity of blooms on a plant.

FOLIAGE: The leaves of a plant collectively.

GIRL: Deeply scalloped leaves, usually rounded or heart-shaped with white to yellow markings at the base of each leaf.

HOLLY: Heavily crested leaves with the leaf edges curled forward or bent back with exaggerated wavy edges resembling holly in form. Longifolia or Spider: Narrow pointed strap-like leaves with either plain or wavy edges. plain or TAILORED: Plain in texture and form; it is sometimes known as standard or boy foliage

HUMIDITY: The ratio of water vapor held in the air, beneficial to plant growth.

HYBRID: A plant grown from seed as a result of breeding or cross-pollinating.

HYBRIDIZATION: Using the pollen from one African Violet and transferring it to the stigma of another violet to obtain seed.

HYBRIDIZER: One who breeds or cross-pollinates plants.

LEACH: To pour a quantity of plain water through the soil of a plant to flush away accumulated fertilizer salts and neutralize alkali build-up.

LEAF CUTTING: A leaf, plus a portion of the petiole, cut From a plant and used for propagating purposes.

MAJOR FERTILIZER ELEMENTS: Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium

MASTER LIST: The AVML is a series of volumes listing all registered and non-registered varieties.

MOSAIC VARIEGATION: Formerly called Lillian Jarrett variegation. It is a mosaic pattern over the whole leaf.

MULTI-COLOR: Blossoms with two or more colors.

MUTANT OR SPORT: Plants that have developed new features not seen in the parent plant. This can occur naturally or be chemically induced.

NECK: A plant that has lost leaves from the lower portion of the plant exposing the main stalk above the potting mixture.

OVARY: At the base of the pistil in which the seed develops.

PASTEURIZE: To raise the temperature of the soil or potting mix (or one of the components thereof) to 180 degrees F. and maintain that temperature for 30 minutes.

PATHOGEN: Any agent that causes disease; a virus or a microorganism such as a bacterium or fungus.

PLANTLET: An immature plant; either still on the “mother” leaf or potted individually.

PLANT TYPES: Miniature, Semi-miniature. Single-crown. Standard, and Trailer.

PEDUNCLE: Located near the crown of the plant, the peduncles develop between the leaves bearing the flower clusters. It is the stalk that supports a flower cluster.

PEDICEL: The stem that supports the buds or blossoms in a bloom cluster.

PETAL: The individual segments of a bloom.

PETIOLE: The stem which attaches the leaf to the main stem.

PISTIL: This is the seed-bearing female portion of the flower and consists of ovaries, style, and stigma.

PHOTOSYNTHESIS: The production of food in plants through a complex chemical reaction involving light, water, and carbon dioxide.

POINTED: Ends of the leaves come to a definite point.

POLLEN: The fertile yellow powder, released from the anther.

PROGENY: The offspring of any type of cross.

PROPAGATE: to produce, or cause to produce, new plants.

QUILTED: Leaves have distinct raised areas between the veins. Some leaves have pie-crust edging. Ruffled, Frilled, Wavy, or Fluted: Leaves have serrated or ragged edges. Spooned, Ovate, Cupped-up: Leaves are concave with high edges like a spoon.

ROOTED CLUMP: A term used by commercial growers referring to a group of plantlets attached to the leaf cutting (mother leaf).

ROSETTE: A cluster of leaves radiating symmetrically from a central stem.

SECONDARY FERTILIZER ELEMENTS: Sulfur, Calcium, and Magnesium.

SEEDLING: A plant grown from seed.

SEMI-DOUBLE: Blossoms that possess more than the standard five lobes, such as those blossoms with a crest or tuft at the center, but less than a full second row of petals.

SEPAL: Individual segments, similar to petals, covering the bloom, part of the calyx.

SINGLE: Blossoms have five lobes, appear single, with two upper lobes that are usually smaller than the three lower ones.

SLIP POTTING: Placing a plant into a clean pot of the same size to hide any disfigurement or dirt on the pot.

SPECIES: A subdivision of the genus Gesneriaceae, ie. Saintpaulia.

SPHAGNUM MOSS: A long-fibered moss in a less decomposed state than that of sphagnum peat moss. It is often used in its natural, unmilled state as a growing medium for plants in hanging baskets.

STAMEN: A stalk or filament bearing an anther at its tip to hold the pollen.

STAR: Blossoms have five lobes of about equal size and distance from one another. The blossoms can be single, semi-double, or double.

STARTER PLANTS: Immature plants in small pots (usually 2 1/2″) are sometimes referred to as “starter plants” by commercial growers.

STEM: The main stalk or trunk of a plant.

STIGMA: A sticky receptive surface to which pollen adheres. 

STYLE: This elevates the stigma into a favorable position for pollen collection.

SUCKER: The beginning of a new plant which forms near the base of a plant or in the lower axils.

SUPREME: Leaves are thick, hairy, and quilted with strong pencil-like petioles.

SYSTEMIC: A chemical substance which, when absorbed by plant tissue, causes the tissue to be poisonous to certain pests and diseases. Soil drenching is the usual method of induction.

SYMMETRY: The degree of perfect duplication and overlapping of the foliage evenly spaced around the main stem of the plant. Straight petioles with each layer of leaves progressively larger than the preceding layer.

TISSUE CULTURE: Test tube propagation using a culture medium and producing hundreds of plants from a minute piece of plant tissue.

TWO-TONE: Blossoms having two or more shades of one color.

VARIEGATED: Leaves (in addition to shades of green) can be marked with white, cream, light yellow, or rosy shades from light pink to a deep wine red. This defines all variegation other than Crown or Mosaic variegation. 

TOMMIE LOU VARIEGATION: This was one of the first and most distinctive types, occurring primarily on the edge of the leaf and is now referred to as just variegated.

VERMICULITE: A sterile, lightweight, brownish, soft-textured, pebbly material. It is manufactured from crushed mica ore expanded to many times its original size through intense heat.

WASP: Blossoms are single and each lobe is very narrow.

WETTING AGENT: A solution that is mixed with water to reduce the surface tension that causes water to bead.

WICKING: Any material used to draw water from a reservoir into the soil of a potted plant.

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