African violets have a unique place in horticultural history.  From very modest origins and beginnings, these plants have become immensely popular and form an important part of the houseplant industry.  African violets mutate or sport readily producing new types of flowers, flower colors and leaves to keep hybridizers busy for years putting all the variations together into new combinations.  The plants are easy to grow from cuttings and hybridizing can be done without a detailed knowledge of genetics or special techniques. The potential variation seems endless.  Recent efforts from Russian and Ukrainian hybridizers are producing plants in new colors and combinations, revitalizing interest in African violets world wide.  Growing African violets can be just a hobby for relaxation, a business or serious competitive sport.  However you enjoy them, there are few matches to the Baron von St. Paul’s plant, the African violet.