Blossom Not as Described

Question:  Several months ago I ordered several plants.  One of the violets was supposed to be ‘Cherries ‘n Cream’.  As I’ve grown this plant, it has bloomed well and is very healthy, but the blooms are single to semidouble reddish stars with “no edge at all”.  The foliage is as described.  What can this particular plant be, if it’s not ‘Cherries ‘n Cream’?

Answer:  This is a question received by one of our mail-order customers, since we guarantee all plants to be true to description.  Since the plant was true in every way except for the absence of the white edge on its bloom, we guessed that cultural conditions, the summer heat in particular, might be to blame.  Many edged varieties, particularly those with blossoms thinly edged white, tend to lose this edge when grown in very warm conditions.

It seems that her growing conditions, particularly the heat were, indeed, the problem.  This is the reply we received from her. “I’m relieved to know that it is just a matter of growing conditions.  What you said makes sense because I have been growing this plant in my kitchen (much warmer) with natural lighting versus in my basement (much cooler) under florescent lights.  ‘Cherries ‘n Cream’ doesn’t seem to appreciate a lot of direct light like some of the other violets.  I’ve also noticed that my variegated varieties have turned more green with the warmer weather.  I wonder if this affects all bicolor blooms as well?”

All of these symptoms are consistent with growing in a very warm environment.  Much, sometimes all, of the of the variegation can be lost in foliage, and many multicolor blooms can turn solid.  Fortunately, the variegation on most varieties will return with the cooler weather.  Unfortunately, this may not be the case with those having multicolor blooms, such as “fantasy” (i.e. spotted or splashed) and edged blooms, that have turned a single, solid, color.

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