Description and review of the annual Delta Gesneriad and African Violet Society Show & Sale.
On a recent Saturday afternoon, I strolled over to the Shepard Garden & Arts Center to check out the Gesneriad and African Violet Society Show & Sale. It is always interesting to view the myriad of flowering plants on display.
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I arrived just minutes before the 1:00 p.m. opening of the sale and show to find a long line of plant enthusiasts waiting for the doors to open.
Show & Sale
The main room on the left as I entered was filled with the plants for sale. The smaller room to the right featured the judged winning plants in their respective categories.
Once the doors opened it was obvious that this crowd knew just what they wanted! Low-sided cardboard boxes stacked under the tables in the main room were scooped up and soon filled, with some attendees attempting to wrangle two filled boxes at a time! Plant sizes varied – from tiny rooted cuttings to full-sized plants in bloom.
After making a quick circuit of the larger room, I went to check out the judged winners. I also picked up some of the educational materials on both Gesneriad and African Violets specifically.
What is Gesneriaceae/Gesneriad?
Gesneriaceae, the Gesneriad family, is a family of (with a few exceptions) tropical flowering plants consisting of over 3,500 species. The African Violet is the best-known member of the family.
Note: Gesneriad is pronounced either “guess-NARE-ee-ad” or “jez-NARE-ee-ad”.
There are two major subfamilies: Didymocarpoideae (Old World) and Gesneriod (New World). The two major subfamilies are further broken down into tribes and subtribes.
According to the education materials, most gesneriads thrive on conditions that are easy to attain in the home. For example:
- Gesneriads need good, bright light. Most grow and bloom well under artificial lights.
- Daytime temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees, with a drop of 10 degrees at night is considered ideal for most gesneriads.
- An average humidity of 50% will keep gesneriads happy, however many will bloom better with even higher humidity.
As with many houseplants, overwatering is probably the most common way to “kill” the plants, particularly African Violets. I have to admit that I have done that more than once in my lifetime!
To Sum Up
I personally find myself more drawn to the non-African Violet gesneriads. More research is needed before I purchase one or more gesneriads.
Comments on the Gesneriad/African Violet Show & Sale?
Are you a fan of Gesneriads and African Violets?
2023 Gesneriad and African Violet Society Show & Sale Snapshot:
- Shepard Garden & Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95816
- Saturday, September 16 (1:00 p.mm to 4:00 p.m.); Sunday, September 17 (10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.)
- Free admission
- Free parking (parking lot & street parking)
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