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  #1  
Old 06-05-2019, 05:04 PM
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Default Cultivar naming convention - allowed characters

Is there anybody that is familiar with the rules of cultivar names or clonal name for orchids?

So far, it seems that there is no official site in the world where cultivar names for orchids are registered and stored. So, just calling on the experts to see whether or not there is an official system for cultivar names for orchids.

And, assuming there is a naming convention or rules for cultivars of hybrids/grex ----- does anybody know if the cultivar name excludes the usage of dot (full stop) characters?

I haven't seen usage of dots in the cultivar name - so the assumption is only basic alpha-numeric characters allowed, such as "a" through to "z", and maybe "0" to "9". Obviously, unorthodox characters like #%^$! shouldn't be used at all.

So, to keep things short ..... (a purely arbitrary example only) .... would the following orchid name be feasible?

Rlc. Goldenzelle 'Lemon Chiffon m. Orange Lip'

The reason behind this question is only to see where we can actually go with cultivar names. It's not about testing the limits of a convention. Only to establish whether this can be done --- because in another thread, I was asking about naming of stable mutation of a hybrid. So if a stable mutation of a hybrid is found, then there will be options for naming the cultivar --- basically from a standpoint of merely putting a name to it, and also keeping with convention (if there actually is one!).

If allowed, then would the above name violate any convention (if there is one)? The 'm.' is just there for mutation. So the imaginary mutation variant of 'Lemon Chiffon' is the 'Orange Lip' mutation.

Sure --- it might be possible to just go with Rlc. Goldenzelle 'Lemon Chiffon Orange Lip', but there may be reasons to not go with this -as it doesn't inherently indicate mutation of Lemon Chiffon.

And it would certainly be possible to make it Rlc. Goldenzelle 'Orange Lip', but it loses traces of the Lemon Chiffon origin, unless somebody is able to look it up (on the internet or somewhere).

So I guess the main questions are ----- is there a detailed set of rules for naming convention for cultivars for orchids? And is there any official site that registers cultivar names? (I'm not registering cultivars etc at all. I'm basically just interested to see what the details/story are behind cultivar naming).

Also, obviously - if Lemon Chiffon is a registered trademark name, then a variation of the name, such as Rlc. Goldenzelle 'Lemon Chiffon m. Orange Lip' would probably violate laws, and would probably have to fall back to Rlc. Goldenzelle 'Orange Lip' anyway.

My questions above are not about myself wanting to name any orchid officially. It is only to find out what the situation is with cultivar names, and what options there are if we just tag an orchid in a particular way, such as Rlc. Goldenzelle 'Lemon Chiffon m. Orange Lip'.

An interesting link that discusses orchid names is : *click here* - which provides nice information, but it mentions 'combinations of letters and numbers' and doesn't mention allowed usage of dot, such as "m."

Last edited by SouthPark; 06-05-2019 at 09:06 PM..
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Old 06-06-2019, 12:48 AM
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From the RHS website:

Registering your hybrid

Registering your hybrid online is incredibly easy and takes less than 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can also register your hybrid by post.

The orchid registrar will get back to you to let you know if your registration has been successful. If you have any queries, please email the registrar: orcreg@rhs.org.uk
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Old 06-06-2019, 01:39 AM
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Thanks Ray! I recall you --- I think it was you anyway - that once pointed out that RHS registration involves Genus and Grex for hybrids. There's no entry for clonal name or cultivar name. Pretty sure it won't hurt if I use that email to ask them about cultivar names and naming procedures.
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:11 AM
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Yes, there are official rules for naming cultivars. They can be found in International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. See APPENDIX IX - QUICK GUIDE FOR NEW CULTIVAR NAMES.

I haven't read through it in a long time. I know the full stop is allowed, but I don't have the time right now to read through for the complete answer to your question. I will point out that your proposed m. may not be correct in your example. You don't know if a change is a mutation until you know it is inheritable. Also, even if it isn't officially trademarked, as existing cultivar is associated with a particular business or individual, and it would not be appropriate to include it without their permission.
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:40 AM
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PMM ..... thanks for your excellent comments about this situation. I totally agree about the trademark side of things. I don't think it's appropriate to call it 'Sweet Afton Splash'. I think it should be ok to call it 'Sweet Afton m. Splash' for personal use - and not for selling. This naming respects the originator and allows a name to be associated with the stable featured mutation.

My mutant is a mericlone of 'Sweet Afton'. The lip is unmistakably 'Sweet Afton'. It has consistently the 'splash' (or slightly perloric colouring on petal tips --- petal tips only ... sepals aren't coloured). So it isn't 'Sweet Afton' since 'Sweet Afton' has full greeny yellow petals and sepals..... no splash petals.

I didn't know that the definition of mutation has within it a requirement for the trait to be inheritable by its offspring though. I had always assumed that a mutation is a spin-off from the original plant, but with slight difference in DNA - due to the mutation. I'll definitely read up on that.

Thanks PMM for that link to the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. I'll take a look in there. Really appreciated!

Last edited by SouthPark; 06-06-2019 at 09:13 PM..
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:58 AM
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PMM ..... the nomenclature pdf link you provided is excellent. Thanks for providing that link again. That really clears things up. Interesting how hyphens and some other characters are permissible in cultivar names.

I totally agree with what you wrote about trademark and originator permissions. Those aspects need to be considered and respected. Thanks again PMM.
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