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     A few years ago whilst a member of the old International Violet Association, I had the idea of compiling lists of the cultivars within the genus Viola.  At that time this was mooted as a commercial venture with another enthusiast, but sadly nothing came of it.  That notwithstanding, I persevered with the listings and early last year I was encouraged by Norma Beredjiklian, Gary Sherwin, Annebelle Rice and Kim Blaxland, all members of The American Violet Society to apply for the post of International Cultivar Registration Authority, under the auspices of the I.S.H.S. (International Society for Horticultural Science) with headquarters in Belgium.

     Despite initial reservations as to the capabilities of the team who compiled this work, I succeeded in my application and candidacy and was appointed the official I.C.R.A. (International Cultivar Registration Authority) for the genus Viola in the summer of 2002, under the umbrella of the American Violet Society.

     This project has come to fruition due to the help, advice and encouragement of many people across the violet growing fraternity; without their help, I would have never been able to amass the information presented in the following pages.  The people who have given their time, expertise and advice span every facet of the genus and every organisation connected to the cultivated forms.

     My unreserved thanks go to my co-conspirator John Snocken of the National Viola and Pansy Society (in the United Kingdom) without whom the Pansies, Violas, Violettas and Cornutas would have remained a small entry.  John Snocken has spent many hours scouring old catalogues, show journals and various archival materials to build a fully comprehensive listing of these plants, and he is unrivalled in his knowledge of them.

     Grateful thanks must go to all of my other friends and colleagues in the violet world who have generously given their time, knowledge and expertise in helping to compile my lists.  I would like to list among the many Pierre Barandou (Agen, France) who so generously researched the German Violets and their origins for me; Nathalie Casbas (Toulouse, France) who gave me information on existing French and Italian Violets; and Clive W. Groves (Dorset, U.K.) for his generous expertise in British violets.  These individuals are true devotees of the violet.

     Since a particularly hard area to research was Australia, I would like to thank Dr. Judith McLeod for her authoritative listing of existing Australian cultivars, thus bringing the violet section up to date.  I would also like to thank all of those people who researched particular areas for me, and one of the most enthusiastic was Vicky Johnson (New Jersey), who tackled some very obscure and difficult work.  Similar thanks also go out to all of the nurseries and seed companies who supplied listings for me to work from.

     Next, I need to thank profusely Dr. Alan Leslie of the R.H.S. and Mr. Piers Trehane of the I.S.H.S. for believing that The American Violet Society could and has completed this register, and will continue to add to the knowledge already amassed about the cultivated forms of the genus.

     The American Violet Society came forward with resources and skills and much support in the effort to complete this project.  I want to recognize the combined expertise of three of its members:  Mrs. Kim Blaxland (Pennsylvania) in viola taxonomy, Gary W. Sherwin (Pennsylvania) as accomplished webmaster and native viola expert, and Norma Beredjiklian (Virginia) who spent many hours over the lists proof reading, copyediting and publishing. 

     Finally, I would like to thank my wife Tracey, and my children Daniel and Laura for putting up with me always playing with my Violets, for their help and encouragement along with that of all of my friends, especially when things got difficult and motivation was needed to complete this project.

 Peter M. Robinson,

International Cultivar Registration Authority (Viola.)

Associate Member of the Board Of Directors, (The American Violet Society)

London, December 2002

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