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African Violet Glossary

Family: Category of plant classification that includes related genera. African Violets belong to the Gesneriad family.

Fantasy: Bloom pattern. Describes an African Violet flower that is dotted or splashed with either a different color or a different shade of the same color. This bloom pattern was first introduced in 1954. Also see Artist's Palette.

Farrah: Rhapsodie variety. Medium, standard African Violet (4-inch pot size) with frilled, dark pink flowers and dark green leaves (red reverse). Introduced 1988. (AVSA Reg. No. 6982) More information.

Fe: Symbol for iron, an essential element.

Fenja: Rhapsodie variety. Medium, standard African Violet (4-inch pot size) with single, two-tone, light purple flowers and medium green leaves. Introduced 1991. (AVSA Reg. No. 7499) More information.

Ferbam: Fungicide sometimes used for controlling fungi such as Botrytis and Powdery Mildew. Because Ferbam can stain the leaves of African Violets, however, other fungicides are recommended, i.e., Benomyl or Captan. Ferbam is classified for general use by the EPA.

Fern Scale: Pinnaspis aspidistrae. A common species of scale insect known to feed on African Violets. See Scale.

Fertilization: Process culminating in the union of pollen cells with the ovules, such that seeds begin to grow. This process is facilitated by pollination. Also see Cross-Fertilization and Self-Ferilization.

Fertilizer: Any substance which provides some combination of essential elements to plants. Recommended fertilizers for African Violets are normally available as soluble powders or concentrated liquid and contain, in addition to other essential elements, approximately equal percentages of the primary elements, NPK. For standard African Violets, a good fertilizer should have an NPK of about 14-12-14. For miniatures, the primary elements should be somewhat diluted with a relatively higher percentage of phosphorus, i.e., 7-9-5. Also see Major Element, Micronutrient and Trace Element.

Fertilizer Element: See Primary Elements.

Fertilizer Salts: Salts which accumulate in the soil from fertilizers. The constituent elements of these salts are left behind from those substances which provide sources for the elements. For example, the greatest concentrations of fertilizer salts come from chlorides and nitrates, i.e., potassium chloride and potassium nitrate. When fertilizers are used properly, the fertilizer salts they produce will normally leach from the soil with water. If not leached from the soil, however, fertilizer salts can have a detrimental effect on African Violets. In addition to their effect on soil pH, fertilizer salts can accumulate on the rim of clay pots, where they cause a condition known as Leaf Rot. Also see Electrical Conductivity.

Fiji: Optimara variety. Medium, standard African Violet (4-inch pot size) with double, bi-color flowers. Flowers are purple with a white edge. Leaves are medium green. Introduced 1997. More information.

Filament: The stalk of a stamen, the part that supports the anther.

Finished: Describes a commercially-grown African Violet which is peaking in its first flowering cycle, i.e., it is fully blooming for the first time. A standard, finished African Violet will normally be 34 to 35 weeks old.

Fish Emulsion: Sometimes used as a slow-release, organic source of nitrogen. While it is safe to use on African Violets, it often has a distinct fishy odor.

Flamenco: Optimara variety belonging to the Little Dancer series. Compact African Violet (3-inch pot size) with frilled, bi-color flowers. Flowers are reddish-purple with a white edge. Leaves are medium green. Introduced 2000. More information.

Flared-Top Pot: Pot with a rim that flares out at the top. Flared-top pots are often used to provide leaf support for African Violets. Also see Double Potting and Leaf Support Ring.

Flea Beetles: Insects known to feed on the leaves of African Violets. Flea Beetles measure 1/16 to 1/4 inch in length. They are black or metallic blue in color, and some have either a thin, yellow stripe or tiny, white spots on the wing casings. Their name derives from the fact that they jump like fleas when disturbed. More information.

Florescence: Refers to the period or frequency of flowering, both of which are regulated by florigen. Also see Multiflorescence and Semper Florescence. Also see Photoperiodism.

Flori: Holtkamp variety (Europe). Medium, standard African Violet (4-inch pot size) with single, purple flowers and dark green leaves (red reverse). Originally introduced in 1962 as Rhapsodie in Blue. Available in the U.S. as Kentucky.

Florida: Optimara variety. Medium, standard African Violet (4-inch pot size) with frilled, dark pink flowers and medium green leaves. Introduced 1977. Improved 1988. (AVSA Reg. No. 3154 and 6950) More information.

Floriferousness: Refers to the characteristic of flowering or the quantity of bloom.

Florigen: Plant hormone which regulates flowering. The production of florigen is activated by phytochrome.

Flower: A flowering plant. Also a bloom or blossom. A bud which has opened. On African Violets, flowers perform the reproductive function and include the anthers, calyx, carpels, filament, ovary, ovules, petals, pistil, pollen, sepals, stamens, stigma and style.

Flower Cluster: See Bloom Cluster.

Flower Debris: The remains of spent flowers which drop and often accumulate on the surface of the soil. The presence of flower and other plant debris may attract certain insects which feed on or take shelter beneath decaying plant matter. Such insects and related pests include Black Vine Weevils, Blackflies, Earwigs, Fungus Gnats, Isopods, Mushroom Flies, Sciarid Flies, Springtails and Symphylans. Also see Non-Dropping Flowers.

Flower Pattern: See Bloom Pattern.

Flower Type: See Bloom Type.

Fluorite: Optimara super miniature variety. See Little Fluorite.

Fluted: Leaf type. See Ruffled.

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