I love African violets. You probably already know that because I say it a lot. When shopping, I usually choose the one I bring home because of the flower color or the foliage. Recently though, I chose one because of its striking sepals.

Why the sepals?

I guess I’d never really paid attention to them. This ‘Ma’s Taffy Swirl’, though caught my eye because of the burgundy sepals that contrasted to the light pink flower petals. They really stood out.

Dark burgundy sepals on ‘Ma’s Taffy Swirl’ African Violet

What are sepals?

Sepals are the protectors of the flower buds before they open. All the sepals collectively are called the calyx. They are actually modified leaves which bracts are as well.

Below, you can see the difference in the colors of the sepals. Usually they are green, like on the right. You can see why I was attracted to the burgundy ones. They’re different.

Ma’s Taffy Swirl on left, ‘Blue Mist’ on the right

The mini violet below, ‘Rob’s Argyle’s Socks’ has the burgundy sepals, but because the bud is also burgundy, they don’t stand out to the extent the lighter budded ones do. (Plus, it is very tiny…)

The sepals and stems are fuzzy!

Dark sepals on ‘Rob’s Argyle Socks’ mini African violet

Here are the flowers the sepals were protecting. Thank goodness they are there to ensure we get these gorgeous flowers!

‘Blue Mist’ African violet

Notice the speckled flowers on this ‘Ma’s Taffy Swirl’ .

‘Ma’s Taffy Swirl’ African violet flower

I hope you learned a little “tidbit” of information today about your African violet flowers. Do you have African violets? How do you choose the one you bring home?

The dark sepals look like wings

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