I have the fortune of having an African Violet sport in my collection from a leaf I put down from Ozio. It has the pink, double blossoms with a deeper purple-pink edge on one side of the plant and on the other is a double purple with a slightly darker edge on the petals. It’s in it’s first bloom and I’m hoping it keeps that diversity on the plant as it grows. Next year, I might take a leaf from it and see if it throws the same or reverts.
Originally, these were basically “genetically modified” plants where a poisonous extract called Colchicine was derived from a wild crocus was used as a solution applied to a cut leaf. Plants produced carried twice the number or chromosomes resulting in mutations. Sports can also happen spontaneously as the result of a culture break such as extreme temperatures, drought, or pest infestation.
African Violet sports can be “created” as in the earlier attempts of genetic modification with different chemicals. As mentioned before, there’s Colchicine, also Gibberellic Acid which is a very potent hormone whose natural occurrence in plants controls their development. It is widely used agriculturally and is found in many plant booster formulas available commercially. Also, some prescription medications have been used such as birth control pills, hair-regrowth medications and even fertility hormones in the hopes of inducing mutations, but to date there’s been no word on how these experiments have come out.