The judgement of an exhibition of African violets

The African Violet Society of America

The exhibitions sponsored by the African Violet Society of America should be judged by judges accredited by that organization. Clubs who organize this kind of show must be a member of the AVSA.


In 1966, The Council of the International Society for Horticultural Science, designated the AVSA as the international body with authority for the registration of the genus Saintpaulia and its’ hybrids. The African Violet Society of America was founded November 8, 1946 and was incorporated 30 June 1947. 


AVSA judges

There are four levels of judges. Beginner, advanced Judge, Judge and Senior Judge master. All judges of the AVSA take exams on the contents of the book “The African Violet Society of America Handbook for Growers, Exhibitors and Judges”. They must also themselves grow several varieties of African violets and exhibit them.

All AVSA Convention and Affiliate Shows use the merits method of judging. In this method each exhibit is judged on its own merits rather than in competition againts another plant. Merit judging assures that each exhibits receives the award it deserves since as many firts (blue, 90-100 points), second (red, 70-89 points), third (white, less than 70 points) ribbons, or other awards can be given as the judges deem worthy. In each class, one plant is chosen as the “Best in Class” from the plants in that class that received a blue ribbon.


Finally, a team of five judges will choose the best plant from among those who have received the prize for the best in its class, according to what the club has decided to put on the Honour Table. For example: the Queen of show, or best standard in show, best miniature, best semi-miniature, best variegated plant, best trailer, best Gesneriad other than an African violet, etc.


Some clubs will give rosettes to the best of class, while others give gold ribbons for best in class and rosettes will be reserved for the best of one type of violet from several similar classes. Most clubs also offer trophies for some plants that are found on the honour table.