Chimera African violets

QuestionWhat is a “chimera”, and why are they so much more expensive?  Are they more difficult to grow?

Answer:  A chimera is a plant, due to its genetic make-up, which can be propagated only by suckers to produce an identical (in foliage and blossom) plant.  In the violet hobby, the term usually refers to varieties having pinwheel striped blossoms.  Identical blooming plants of these varieties can on be produced when propagated by suckers.  When done by leaf cuttings, the plants produced usually will bloom without the pinwheel pattern, and in a solid color.  Because propagation by sucker is more costly in terms of time and growing space, and produces fewer plants than by leaf cutting, commercial growers pass along these additional costs in the form of higher prices.  Once successfully propagated, these varieties are no more difficult to grow than are other varieties.

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