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     It is with understandable pride that we present to the reader and violet enthusiast this checklist incorporating the International Register of the Cultivated Forms of the Genus Viola.

     This monumental work has been prepared under the provisions of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. Such a work has never been attempted before. Despite the popularity of members of the Genus Viola throughout the 19th century and the first three decades of the 20th century, violets and their botanical cousins the Pansy, viola, violetta and cornuta, have not previously inspired researchers to put all available information in one book. Though information abounded in the commercial market, the only portions published were either concerned with a small number of specific varieties or with varieties that were in vogue at a particular time. There were some notable efforts in Europe and America to catalogue native varieties, but these works covered few if any commercially propagated varieties, since they concentrated on native species.

     Much of the work on this project was the result of laborious research through various libraries, books and publications, including society and growers notes. At times the effort proved frustrating, as the growers of yesteryear were often frugal with their records of new varieties. As an unfortunate result, we have only been able to record the names of some historic Viola varieties. It has, thus far, been impossible to find further information that would allow us to trace the names of the introducer or raiser of many varieties. Often, we lack descriptions for these varieties as well. It is hoped that as time goes on, more of this information will come to light and some of the missing blanks can be filled in.

     The purpose of this Checklist / Register is to record all of the known cultivar names within the Genus Viola so that a lasting record will be available in the future.  This will ensure that the names and, where available, the description of the various cultivars are preserved for future reference by violet enthusiasts, growers and members of the horticultural community in general.

     Unfortunately, as the International Cultivar Registration Authority for Viola, I do not conduct trials of cultivars.  Neither do my duties permit me to judge if one cultivar or cultivar-group is better than another.  And, I cannot judge the distinctness of cultivars or cultivar-groups.  This is done by other organisations whom I am in contact with and with whom, I will liaise for the purpose of registering new cultivars and their descriptions, as long as they comply with the terms of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants.

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Web-Presentation © 2003 Gary W. Sherwin, The American Violet Society

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