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National Viola and Pansy Society
Journal 2001

What's in a Name?

I have already mentioned the nomenclature difficulties that so often arise through lack of reliable records. A good example would be 'Ruth Elkins', a name that appears in catalogues and PlantFinder,thereby gaining credence. It is also described in one catalogue as 'being of great age'. Now here I was always a little suspicious as I could find no reference to it before Roy Genders lists it in the 1950s. It has taken me until now to unravel, and that with the help of the North of England Society seedling register from the estate of the late Ray Frost. Here we find 'Ruth Elkon' given a certificate in 1941! Do people born in that year consider themselves as being 'of a great age'? I think not. The colour description is correct - the yellow body with the mauve margin - and then we see the parentage as being 'Moseley Ideal' x 'Kathleen Hoyle', and this does make sense. Also good to note that both parent varieties are still in cultivation. I looked through notes and correspondence noting that in many cases the o became an a giving Elkan. But how did this get to Elkins? As the first reference to it by this name is Genders do we blame him? I think so, as I have found a number of misnomers in his otherwise good volume. Once it has appeared in a book that is it. Thus we are stuck with 'Ruth Elkins' but to make sure, in the Register she gets all three!

Journal 2001

Editorial Annual Show News from Scotland Census results
Green Goddess Notes from a Novice International Register Awkward Beasts
Southport Nursery News Ray Frost Tailpiece