FORMS OF THE GENUS VIOLA
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
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
who so generously researched the German Violets and their origins for me;
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.
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,
Registration Authority (Viola.)
Associate Member of the Board Of
Directors, (The American Violet Society)