N.C. State University Professor Receives Patent for New Plant Called “Miss Violet”

A North Caroline State University professor from the department of horticulture science received a patent for a new plant called “Miss Violet,” according to a filing Tuesday with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Dennis J. Werner, the inventor who filed for the patent in June, teaches classes in plant propagation, herbaceous perennials and breeding asexually propagated crops.

According to the patent application, “Miss Violet” is a new and distinct variety of Buddleja plant characterized by its compact stature, semi-upright growth habit, violet flower color, oblong-elliptic leaf shape, distorted male flower parts called anthers resulting in male sterility, and female structures that show reduced function, resulting in reduced seed formation.

Buddleja is also known as “butterfly bush” and is grown as an ornamental shrub used for landscaping. Butterfly bush is grown for its fragrant flowers that bloom year round.

Werner conducted the first asexual propagation of “Miss Violet” in fall 2010 at N.C. State. Test plantings and performance evaluations were conducted at a research station in Jackson Springs, North Carolina, and at a greenhouse in Raleigh over five years.

Werner graduated from Michigan State University with a Ph.D. in horticulture in 1979 and has published several horticulture related publications.

He received his Bachelor of Science in horticulture from Pennsylvania State University in 1973 and his Master’s Degree in horticulture from Michigan State University in 1975. He began teaching at N.C. State in 1979.

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