Plant Registration

Cajuns Ethereal fairy      Cajun's Ethereal Fairy Blossom

Above: 'Cajun's Ethereal Fairy', a new variety introduced at the AVSA 2013 Convention.


The African Violet Society of America, Inc. (AVSA) is the authorized International Cultivar Registration Authority (ICRA) for the genus Saintpaulia (commonly known as the African violet). You may name and register a plant if it meets certain requirements:

  1. You are the hybridizer of the plant or the discoverer of the sport (mutation) of a plant, or you have written permission from the hybridizer or his/her heirs.
  2. You know the names of the parent plants used in the cross, or, in the case of a sport, the name of the plant from which the sport mutated. (It's not necessary that the parents be registered.)
  3. You have reproduced the plant asexually (e.g. leaf cutting or, in the case of a chimera, sucker propagation) through at least three generations, and the offspring have reproduced true to the original plant.
  4. The name of the plant complies with the provisions set forth in the most recent edition of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. (See some guidelines below under CULTIVAR NAMES TO BE AVOIDED.)

Certain steps are required for the registration process:

  1. Send an e-mail or letter to the Plant Registration and Master Plant List Chairman, requesting registration application forms, and indicating the number of forms needed. (Extras will be sent.) The forms are printed on special archival, acid-free paper; therefore photocopies are not acceptable. (You can download a sample registration application [PDF] to see what information is needed.)
  2. Complete one form for each plant to be registered. Return the form(s) along with the proper application fee(s) to the Plant Registration and Master Plant List Chairman. Note: At least one clear photo (paper or digital) is required.
  3. Once the application is received, the Plant Registration and Master Plant List Committee will process it. If they have any questions, they will contact you. The committee reserves the right to reject the application if the plant does not meet the requirements set forth above.
  4. The name, description, and registration information are published in the "Registration Report" column in the African Violet Magazine, at which time the plant is officially registered. Also, the plant will be listed in the next published edition of the African Violet Master List of Species and Cultivars (AVML), and it will be added to the First Class computer database.

PLEASE NOTE: In order to be listed in the AVML and First Class, the plant does not need to be registered. The hybridizer (or discoverer of a sport) can send the name and description of the plant to the Plant Registration and Master Plant List Chairman. Registration should be reserved for plants which are significantly different from any named cultivar.


Reserving a name may be done when your seedling first blooms. Many times a hybridizer names a new cultivar, releases it, and may wait two years before deciding to register the seedling, only to find the name is not available. Name reservations are good for a two-year period. In order to reserve a name, send the name and reservation fee ($1.00 per name for AVSA members or $5.00 per name for non-members) to the Plant Registration and Master Plant List Chairman. It is not necessary to use a registration form to reserve a name — a letter giving the committee the name is sufficient.

The name will be checked for availability and to make sure it is in compliance with the rules of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. If the name is accepted, it will be placed in the reserved file with your name and the date it was received. This name reservation is good for a two-year period from the date received. If your reservation is about to expire, and you are not ready to register your plant, you may request an extension by paying $1.00 ($5.00 for non-members) for one more two-year period.


The registration fee is $5.00 for AVSA members and $25.00 for non-members. You may subtract the $1.00 (or $5.00) paid for the name reservation if you have previously reserved the name, and the reservation period has not lapsed.

Upon receiving the application for registration, read through it and fill in all the areas pertaining to your cultivar. Type or print in black ink. PLEASE DO NOT USE PENCIL, as these are permanent records. Do not fill in registration number, date received and date published; these will be filled in by the Registrar. All names will be checked by the committee for compliance and availability.

  1. If you have made the cross for this new cultivar, you are the hybridizer. Applicants need written permission from the hybridizer to register any cultivar for which they have not made the crosses.
  2. Remember, in order to register a cultivar you need to take it through three or more generations. Your new cultivar should reproduce true at least 90% of the time.
  3. Cultivars from seeds for which the parentage is unknown may not be registered.
  4. Give a complete blossom and foliage description. Do not give a flowery, exaggerated description. Keep it short and concise, but complete. Follow the guidelines of the Legend in the African Violet Master List of Species and Cultivars (reproduced below).
  5. Plants or leaves of your plants must be available to the general public, either by gift or by sale, if you wish to register this plant.
  6. Date and sign the application, and be sure to include your check or money order, made payable in U.S. funds to AVSA. DO NOT SEND CASH. The application should be signed with your full name — not initials and not the name of a business.
  7. If a living person's name is being used as a cultivar name, a letter of permission from that person must accompany the name reservation or registration application. Written permission is also necessary before using the name of any famous person, copyright, or trademark (e.g. musical group, cartoon character, etc.).
  8. We require at least one clear photo (paper or digital) showing blossoms and foliage. Include the photos with the application or send them by e-mail to the Plant Registration and Master Plant List Chairman.

The publication deadline for this committee is three months before publication of each African Violet Magazine (October 1 for January AVM, etc.) Registrations must be received before our deadline, or they will be held until the next publication date.


  • Names likely to be confused with already existing named cultivars or those closely related (e.g., 'Bonnie Bell' is a registered cultivar, so 'Bonny Belle' is unacceptable.)
  • Excessively long names or phrases — the name is limited to 30 characters (excluding spaces) overall.
  • A name that is the Latin or common name of another genus or species (e.g. 'Carnation').
  • Any name with any of the following words: variety, form, cross, hybrid, group, mutant, seedling, sport, strain, improved.
  • Any punctuation mark other than apostrophe, comma, single exclamation point, hyphen, or period.

Plant Registration and Master Plant List Chairman:
      Joe Bruns
      1220 Stratford Lane
      Hanover Park, IL 60133-2667


Blossom Description Sequence
   1. Blossom type (single, semidouble, double)
   2. Chimera
   3. Color (e.g. pale lavender, hot pink, bright red)
       When describing chimera color, either side of the center stripe is listed as the principal color
       When color of top and lower petals differ, the lower petal color is listed as the principal color
   4. Two-tone (values of one hue, but not two different colors)
   5. Descriptive adjectives (e.g. large, mottled, variable, sticktite, and, under certain circumstances,
       ruffled, frilled, or fluted)
   6. Shape (e.g. pansy, star, cup, bell, wasp)
   7. / denotes "with" followed by remaining features listed sequentially, from blossom center toward edge
      a. Center or eye
      b. Top petals
      c. Petal tips
      d. Fantasy
      e. Band (if another color is present at edge)
      f. Edge
         1) color (Note: white edge is sometimes called Geneva edge)
         2) descriptive adjective (e.g. ruffled, frilled, fluted)

Foliage Description Sequence
   1. Variegation type:
      a. Variegated (sometimes referred to as "Tommie Lou" variegation)
      b. Crown variegated
      c. Mosaic variegated
      d. Chimera variegated
   2. Color (shade of green listed first, if variegated)
   3. Shape (e.g. plain, ovate, spooned, longifolia, heart-shaped, pointed)
   4. Texture (e.g. quilted, pebbled)
   5. Surface (e.g. glossy, hairy, velvety)
   6. Edge (e.g. ruffled, fluted, holly, wavy, scalloped, serrated)
   7. / back color or type (e.g. /red back, /bustle back

African Violet Society of America
2375 North Street
Beaumont, TX 77702-1722
844-400-AVSA (844-400-2872)


Office hours:
Monday - Thursday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm CST



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