Search Techniques

There are several reasons to perform a search with First Class. The most obvious is to find the description of a particular cultivar that you are growing. Another reason would be to look for cultivars of a particular kind — maybe you're fond of red-blossomed African violets hybridized by Kent Stork, or variegated miniatures and semiminiatures with fantasy blossoms.The third reason might be to try to find the name of that African violet your aunt gave you a few years ago. This last reason is highly discouraged, and it was not the intended purpose of the search feature. You are likely to find several descriptions that match your unnamed African violet, so what do you do then? Do you just choose one at random? Even if there is only one description that matches, it's very possible that it's not your plant.

Let's start with the easiest one — finding a description for a named plant. On the AVML tab, start typing the name. As you type, the list will scroll to the area where the plant should be found. If you hear a "bleep" from your computer's speakers, there is only one name that matches what you typed. In most cases, it's your plant. But what if it's not, or what if you hear a "buzz" instead of a "bleep?" (The "buzz" indicates that nothing matches what you typed.)

First, make sure you typed the name correctly. If you type an extra space, the computer will take you literally. Did you miss an apostrophe? If you didn't make a typing error, then the best bet is to do a search on the name field.

Click on the Search tab. In the Name: box, type the name or just part of the name and then click the Search button. For example, you can't find 'Snowkist Haven'. If you search the Name field for 'Snowkist Haven' you will find that your plant is probably 'Nortex's Snowkist Haven'. Some commercial vendors will leave off the prefix from the name tag to save space, so this is often a problem when trying to find the plant's description.

Sometimes the prefix will be wrong. Maybe the plant is labeled as 'Rob's Wonder Twin'. It's not on the list. Anyone who know's Rob's plants will know that Wonder Twin is too plain to be one of his hybrids. So do a search on "wonder twin" (capitalization doesn't matter), and you'll find 'Orchard's Wonder Twin' as the probable culprit.

Can't find 'Fantasy Florale'? A name search on "fantasy florale" also turns up nothing. "Fantasy" is a fairly common word in African violet names, so do a search on "florale." Aha — there it is — 'Fantaisie Florale'!

Sometimes using just part of a word helps. Let's say you have a plant named 'Wandering Star' and can't find it on the list. A name search on "wandering star" turns up nothing. Same goes for "wandering." So try searching for just "wander." One of the names on the list is 'Wrangler's Wanderin' Star'. Could that be it?

If you've tried everything and still can't find the name, chances are that the particular cultivar is not listed on the African Violet Master List of Species and Cultivars, and the First Class database contains only the cultivars on that list.


Let's go to the second type of search — looking for plants that match a particular set of characteristics.

If you like plants that a particular hybridizer produces, and would like to know what else he or she produced, type the hybridizer's name or part of the hybridizer's name in the Hybridizer: box and click the Search button. As with the name search, capitalization doesn't matter.

If you want to know all the plants hybridized by Sidney Sorano, you might do a hybridizer search on "s. sorano." However, there are a number of her cultivars where the hybridizer is listed as "Lyon/Sorano," and those won't be returned in the search. If you do a hybridizer search on just "sorano" you will get both S. Sorano and Lyon/Sorano hybrids, but you will also get P. Sorano hybrids. If you do a search on "utz" you will get not only hybrids by Utz, but also by Spoutz (Spoutz).

One note about the hybridizer field. Often you'll find two names that are separated by a slash (such as G. Cox/B. Johnson). In that case, the first name listed is the registrant (the person who registered the plant), and the second name is the originator (the hybridizer, or the discoverer of a sport).

If you want to find plants of a particular type (standard, trailer, etc.), then choose the type from the drop-down list box and click the Search button. You will notice that some of the categories are combined. For example, some standards are listed as Small standard, and some are listed as Large, so choosing Any Standard will return plants listed as Standard, Small standard, or Large.

When searching the blossom or foliage description fields, you are allowed to enter up to four "search terms." A search term is defined as either a single word or as a group of words enclosed in quotation marks. Do not use commas to separate the search terms.

If you're looking for a red blossom with a white edge, use the search terms [ red "white edge" ]. Now this doesn't guarantee that you're going to get all the red blossoms with a white edge. Maybe the hybridizer described the color as magenta (or some other color) instead of red. Also, the above search will return a description such as "Semidouble pink/red fantasy, white edge." As long as the terms "red" and "white edge" are in their descriptions, they will appear on the list. You need to also consider that the edge might be described as "white ruffled edge," where the word "ruffled" separates your search term of "white edge." The solution is to perform several searches. You might do something like [ magenta "white edge" ], [ red white edge ], [ magenta white edge ], etc., substituting other colors, such as raspberry. A white edge is often referred to as a Geneva edge, but that term is not used in the AVML, so it will not be found in the database.

Just as with the blossom descriptions, you can use up to four "search terms." When searching for variegated cultivars, use "varieg" as the search term, so it will find cultivars with both "variegated" and "variegation" in their descriptions. Again, do multiple searches when it comes to terms such as "ruffled," which could also be described as "wavy" or "holly," or it's even possible that the hybridizer omitted that trait when describing the foliage.

You can, of course, search on multiple fields in the same search. In other words, you can search for semiminiatures with pink blossoms and variegated foliage, showing only those that have a photo. If you're looking for something, you should be able to find it. If not, it's probably not on the list.

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