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African Violet Glossary

Crater Lake: Optimara variety. Medium, standard African Violet (4-inch pot size) with double, blue flowers and dark green leaves (red reverse). Introduced 1987. (AVSA Reg. No. 6555) More information.

Crawler: Early developmental stage of Scale, so called as long as it remains mobile prior to settling on a permanent feeding location.

Creek: Optimara miniature variety. See Little Creek Girl.

Crenate: Leaf type. Describes an African Violet leaf with low, rounded teeth along the edge. Compare to Scalloped and Serrated.

Crested Double: Bloom type. Also called tufted double. On African Violets, describes a double flower on which the stamen is obscured by petals that form a crest or tuft over it.

Cross-Breed: A hybrid or the act of creating a hybrid.

Cross-Fertilization: Method of fertilization by which pollen from the anthers of one African Violet unite with the ovules of another African Violet. As a result, the cross-fertilized Violet will produce seeds which, when germinated, will grow into a new cultivar, featuring some combination of characteristics from both parent plants. Also see Self-Ferilization.

Cross-Pollination: Method of pollination for producing hybrids. Cross-pollination involves transferring pollen from the anthers of one African Violet to the pistil of another African Violet. Given that fertilization is successful, the cross-pollinated Violet will produce seeds which, when germinated, will grow into a new cultivar, featuring some combination of characteristics from both parent plants. Contrast with Open-Pollination. Also see Hand-Pollination.

Crow: Optimara miniature variety. See Little Crow Girl.

Crown: The center of an African Violet formed by its new leaves.

Crown Rot: Also called Phytophthora, after the name of the fungus which causes it. A deadly pathogen which attacks the roots and, most notably, the crown of African Violets. As its name suggests, Crown Rot causes the crown to rot. In almost all cases, Crown Rot is fatal. More information.

Crown Variegation: Characteristic of African Violets which develop variegated leaves on the crown. While all variegated cultivars will normally have crown variegation, the term most often applies to those African Violets which have crown variegation only, while the rest of the leaves remain completely green.

Crystal: Optimara super miniature variety. See Little Crystal.

Cu: Symbol for copper, an essential element.

Cucumber Beetles: Insects known to feed on African Violets. Cucumber Beetles measure about 1/4 inch in length and may be striped, banded or spotted. They are black and either yellow or yellowish-green in color. While they prefer the flowers of African Violets, they will also feed on the leaves. More information.

Cultivar: A contraction of the term, "cultivated variety." While, in most cases, the term is interchangeable with hybrid and variety, a cultivar actually refers to any sample of a plant species which is selected for controlled propagation in order to preserve its characteristics. As such, virtually all extant African Violet cultivars are hybrids.

Cultivation: The sum of all activities necessary for growing and maintaining a plant.

Culture: A sample of plant tissue. A culture may be used for micropropagation or for purposes of analysis, as in instances when attempting to identify a pathogen or understand the pathology of a nutrient imbalance.

Cupped: Leaf type. See Spooned.

Curly: Leaf type. See Ruffled.

Cuticle: Collectively, the thick, outer walls of the cells that form the epidermis.

Cutting: See Leaf Cutting or Peduncle Cutting.

Cyclamen Mites: Steneotarsonemus pallidus. Also called Tarsonemid Mites. A species of arachnids known to feed on African Violets. Considered to be the most dangerous among those Mites which attack African Violets. Cyclamen Mites measure about 1/100 inch and are white, yellow or brown in color. They thrive on almost all parts of African Violets, including leaves, stems and flowers. Damage caused by Cyclamen Mites is compounded by the fact that some Mites are known to carry Botrytis. More information.

Cygon: Popular trademark for an insecticide containing Dimethoate. While sometimes effective against Mealy Bugs and other insects, this insecticide is not recommended for African Violets, since it can cause damage to leaves and flowers.

Cylindrocarpon: Fungus which causes Root Rot.

Cyra: Holtkamp variety (Europe). Medium, standard African Violet (4-inch pot size) with frilled, bi-color flowers. Flowers are white with a red edge. Leaves are medium green. Available in the U.S. as Nevada.

Cytokinin: Growth hormone produced by African Violets and other plants. Cytokinin plays an important role in the growth of plants by regulating cell division.

Cytoplasm: The liquid part of plant cells. This is the juice or sap that emerges from broken leaves and stems.

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