|EIGC Booth - Primulina will be a common houseplant !|
History by definition is everything that has happened previously. The significance of events is what people remember. Ancient history is mostly guesswork and only comes to life if some enterprising author weaves a story from fuzzy facts.
Computers with infinite storage have changed that. Now, every event will be recorded forever. The only thing left is: ‘Does it matter?’ and ‘Does anybody care?’
On July 26, 2016, Ellen Wells reported on Asian Violets (Primulina) as a possible new houseplant. The original story inTropical Topics is copied here:
Gary’s “Next Big Thing”
I keep asking about what folks think will be the “next big thing,” the next tillandsia or succulent trend. “Asian violets,” says Gary Hunter of Gary’s Specialty Plants in Drumore, Pennsylvania. Gary is in the miniature plant business and is a regional grower of small houseplants. His biggest business with small plants is through Longwood Gardens’ plant shop, where they sell hundreds of mini plants each week, all year long.
Gary’s latest project is working with these Asian violets, the common name for Primulina, a genus in the Gesneriad family. “Primulina are like African violets, but better,” writes Gary. “Primulina species and hybrids have been in the hobby world for years but have never been grown commercially.” The reason, he continues, is that these plants take up to a year to flower, eliminating them as a commercially viable flowering plant. “What I was missing was that they could be sold as a small, variegated foliage plant in 6.5-cm pots and fit with our assortment.”
That's Primulina Loki pictured above. Precious! Gary likes these Asian violets so much that he believes they’ll become as popular as African violets, if not more so. Not convinced? Check them out yourself at next week’s Eastern IGC Show at the Valley Forge Casino Resort outside of Philadelphia, where Gary will have a booth. Or check out Gary’s BLOG, which is full of great information.
The significance is that this is the first known reference to Primulina in a commercial horticultural trade magazine.
The commercial barrier has been broken and has been recorded here as a historic event. The facts are preserved.
Still, nobody cares. But Asian Violets are too important to ignore.
We have enough good species and hybrids to start. If we can move Primulina from a minor, minor-crop to a major, minor-crop, they will be a success.
In rereading this quote by Ellen Wells, it jumps out at me as suspect.
“Gary likes these Asian Violets so much that he believes they’ll become as popular as African violets, if not more so.”
Almost every African violet grower, amateur or pro, just laughs at that.
I’m confident that I’m right. The future will decide.