As unique African violets were created through hybridization and mutations, it became necessary to designate a governing body to maintain and keep such records (in this case, the African Violet Society of America.) Each new cultivar is given a name by the person responsible for its creation and/or stabilization. Today, we commonly see and use the terms "cultivar" and "variety" interchangeably. However, it is a misnomer; technically, the word "variety" refers only to naturally occurring mutations, but old habits die hard.
In an effort to aid in competition classification while being concise and consistent, AVSA developed the current method of describing and recording Saintpaulia cultivars. They publish a print list and also an electronic list of species and cultivars, and much more detailed information can be obtained from this list and also their Growers and Judges Handbook. But for now, let's look at a description and try to break it down in simple terms:
Frosted Denim (8513) 11/9/1996 (S. Sorano) Semidouble light blue pansy/white edge. Medium green, plain, quilted. Miniature
"Frosted Denim": This is the name that the hybridizer gave this particular cultivar.
"(8513)": This is the cultivar's registration number, which is assigned in ascending order by the African Violet Society of America, the group responsible for governing African violet cultivar registrations.
"11/9/1996": This is the date that the cultivar was registered with AVSA.
"(S. Sorano)": This is the first initial and last name of the hybridizer. Sometimes, there will be two names listed and separated by a slash. This can signify a shared registration due to a sport, seed sharing or a designation between a greenhouse establishment and the actual person behind the hybridizing effort.
"Semidouble": Blossom type. Can be: single, semidouble, or double. (Singles have five petals, with the others having progressively more.)
"light blue pansy/white edge": This describes the blossoms of the plant. Descriptions will include things such as: primary color, color tones (such as two tones of the same hue,) adjectives (such as size of blossom, variable colors, ruffled edges, etc.,) and flower shapes (i.e. bell, wasp, and in this case, a pansy.) The slash mark means "with" and includes other unique traits such as edges, eyes, fantasy markings or petal tips.
"Medium green, plain, quilted": This describes the leaves on the plant. First is the color, beginning with any types of variegation present. Then the shape, surface texture, and color of the reverse side the leaf is described.
"Miniature": This denotes the categorized mature size of the cultivar. There are basically four sizes: miniature, semi-miniature, standard and large, although micro-miniature is sometimes used informally. The type of the plant is assumed as a single-crowned rosette if not specified, but there is also a trailing type with multiple crowns, and if it applies, it will be listed after the size.