C: Symbol for carbon, an essential element.
Ca: Symbol for calcium, an essential element.
Calcium: (Ca) Major element essential to the growth and vitality of African Violets. Sometimes referred to as a secondary element. Calcium is necessary for overall growth and the development of flowers.
Calcium Carbonate: Type of lime commonly used in horticulture. Sometimes mixed with potting soil in order to increase the pH. Also see Dolomite.
Calcium Deficiency: Condition which describes an African Violet that is not getting enough calcium. Among other things, a deficiency of calcium can cause the leaves of African Violets to pale and become deformed or twisted. More information.
California: Optimara variety. Medium, standard African Violet (4-inch pot size) with single, dark red flowers and medium green leaves. Introduced 1977. Improved 1997. (AVSA Reg. No. 3151) More information.
Callus: Tissue formed by an African Violet or other plant to repair an injury, i.e., at the point where a leaf cutting is taken. It is at the callus where a leaf cutting will begin to form roots.
Calyx: An extension of the pedicel which forms the base of a flower and supports it. The calyx also provides the covering for an unopened bud. The calyx is made up of sepals.
Candy: Rhapsodie variety. Medium, standard African Violet (4-inch pot size) with single, bi-color flowers. Flowers are pink with a white edge. Leaves are medium green. Introduced 1991. (AVSA Reg. No. 7497) More information.
Capillary Action: Also called capillary attraction. Process by which water is drawn up through the soil or, in cases when watering devices are used, drawn up into the soil from a saucer or some form of reservoir. Popular self-watering devices, which employ capillary action, include the Watermaid, MiniWell, MaxiWell and the spill-proof WaterShip.
Capillary Attraction: See Capillary Action.
Capillary Matting: A material used to promote the process of capillary action for the purpose of providing African Violets and other plants with the correct amount of water. Self-watering devices which use capillary matting include the Watermaid.
Capping: A hardened layer of surface soil sometimes caused by top-watering. Capping can impede the proper distribution of water through the soil.
Capricorn: Optimara variety. Compact African Violet (3-inch pot size) with semi-double, red flowers and dark green, girl-type leaves. Introduced 1987. (AVSA Reg. No. 6550) More information.
Captan: Systemic fungicide. On African Violets, Captan is used to treat Botrytis and Powdery Mildew. Captan is classified for general use by the EPA.
Carbohydrate: See Plant Carbohydrate.
Carbon: (C) Major element essential to the growth and vitality of African Violets. Sometimes called a free element. Carbon is absorbed from the air, primarily in the form of carbon dioxide. Through the process of photosynthesis, carbon combines with hydrogen and oxygen to form plant carbohydrates.
Carbon Dioxide Fertilization: (CO2 Fertilization) Any method for increasing the carbon dioxide that plants receive. African Violets and other plants use carbon dioxide during photosynthesis. Because many plants benefit from increases in the amount of carbon dioxide they receive, some commercial growers have devised means of providing more of this element to their plants than they would normally receive. The effects of carbon dioxide fertilization on African Violets is not fully documented.
Carmen: Rhapsodie variety. Large, standard African Violet (4-inch pot size) with single, blue flowers and medium green leaves. Introduced 1991. Improved 1995. (AVSA Reg. No. 8340) More information.
Carola: Holtkamp variety (Europe). Medium, standard African Violet (4-inch pot size) with frilled, semi-double, blue flowers and dark green leaves. Available in the U.S. as Texas.
Carolyn: Rhapsodie variety. Large, standard African Violet (4-inch pot size) with single, two-tone pink flowers and dark green leaves (red reverse). Introduced 1988. (AVSA Reg. No. 6980) More information.
Carotene: See Caroteniod.
Caroteniod: Sometimes called carotene. In African Violets and other plants, the yellow pigment of plant tissue. While always present in African Violets, caroteniod is only visible in variegated leaf varieties and in plants suffering from pests, pathogens or cultural problems which inhibit the normally dominant presence of chlorophyll. Other pigments in plants include xanthophyll and anthocyanin.
Carpel: The part of a flower which contains the ovules. Within a individual bloom, carpels are collectively called the pistil. Also see Bloom.
Caterpillars: Larvae of moths and butterflies. Some, including Armyworms, Fruitworms and Loopers, are known to feed on African Violets. While their size varies with the species, Caterpillars generally range in length from 1/4 to 2-1/2 inches. More information.
Cathy: Rhapsodie variety. Medium, standard African Violet (4-inch pot size) with single, two-tone pink flowers and dark green leaves. Introduced 1991. More information.
Caulescent: Growth habit. Also called multiple-stemmed or trailing. Describes an African Violet with more than one crown.
Cell Culture: See Tissue Culture.
Centennial: Optimara variety. Large, standard African Violet (4-inch pot size). Flowers are very light pink stars. Leaves are medium green (red reverse). Introduced 1992 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the African Violet. (AVSA Reg. No. 8307) More information.
Cezanne: Optimara variety belonging to the Artist's Palette series. Named for the French impressionist painter, Paul Cezanne. Large, standard African Violet (4-inch pot size) with frilled, bi-color flowers. Flowers are pink with splashes of purple. Leaves are light green. Introduced 1996. More information.
Cha Cha: Optimara variety belonging to the Little Dancer series. Compact African Violet (3-inch pot size) with single, blue flowers and medium green leaves. Introduced 1999. More information.
Chagall: Optimara variety belonging to the Artist's Palette series. Named for the Russian cubist painter, Marc Chagall. Medium, standard African Violet (4-inch pot size) with single, bi-color flowers. Flowers are blue and white. Leaves are medium green. Introduced 1998. More information.
Champion Variegated: Leaf type. Describes the pattern of a variegated leaf where the lighter areas appear predominantly between the veins, while the veins and edge of the leaf remain green. Also see Mosaic Variegated, Nancy Reagan Variegated and Tommie Lou Variegated.
Charcoal: In the context of African Violets, refers to a horticultural-grade additive which is sometimes mixed with soil in order to help it retain the beneficial by-products of decomposing matter.
Charleston: Optimara variety belonging to the Little Dancer series. Compact African Violet (3-inch pot size) with single, lilac flowers and light green leaves. Introduced 1999. More information.
Chelated Elements: Micronutrients which have been treated to keep them readily available for absorption once they are introduced into the soil. If not chelated, many micronutrients would react with other elements in the soil in ways that would soon make them unavailable to the plant. Some commonly chelated elements are copper, iron, magnesium, manganese and zinc.
Chelation: Process by which certain micronutrients are treated to keep them readily available to a plant once they are introduced into the soil. Some of the micronutrients which would not remain available without chelation are copper, iron, magnesium, manganese and zinc.
Cherokee: Optimara miniature variety. See Little Cherokee Girl.
Cheyenne: Optimara miniature variety. See Little Cheyenne Girl.
Chicago: Optimara variety. Small, standard African Violet (4-inch pot size) with semi-double, bi-color flowers. Flowers are purple and white. Leaves are dark green (girl-type). Introduced 1987. (AVSA Reg. No. 6551) More information.
Chimera: Spontaneous mutation which creates a distinctive bloom pattern called pinwheel. This bloom characteristic is genetically unstable, though it can sometimes be reproduced from peduncle cuttings. Leaf cuttings will not reproduce a chimera.
Chizu: Holtkamp variety (Europe). Small, standard African Violet (4-inch pot size). Flowers are pink stars with a white edge. Leaves are dark green. More information.
Chloramine: (NH2Cl) Compound which combines chlorine with ammonia. Chloramine is used in about 20 percent of treated municipal water. While the chlorine acts as a disinfectant, the ammonia serves to stabilize the chlorine. As a result, the chlorine cannot readily escape into the air. This makes water treated with chloramine potentially more harmful than water that is simply chlorinated. Symptoms caused by chloramine are the same as those caused by excessive chlorine, i.e., leaf tip burn and decreased flowering. More information.
Chlorine: (Cl) Essential element for the growth and vitality of African Violets. A micronutrient. Chlorine plays an important role in the function of photosynthesis and may increase an African Violet's resistance to certain pathogens. The amount of chlorine that an African Violet needs is very small, i.e., 70 to 100 ppm. An excess of chlorine can cause problems, including leaf tip burn and decreased flowering. More information.
Chlorophyll: In African Violets and other plants, the green pigment of plant tissue which absorbs light during photosynthesis. Chlorophyll is contained in the chloroplasts of plant cells. Other pigments in plants include caroteniod, xanthophyll and anthocyanin.
Chloroplast: In African Violets and other plants, the part of a plant cell which contains chlorophyll. A typical leaf cell contains about 50 chloroplasts.
Chlorosis: Condition describing the yellowing of leaves. Typically caused by either insufficient light or an imbalance of essential elements. Also see Interveinal Chlorosis and Halo-ing.
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