Article: Plant Names II: Cultivar names: Perfection

Views: 19, Replies: 15 » Jump to the end
Image Plant Names II: Cultivar names
By Charlie Street on March 28, 2013

The basic botanical category of plant classification is the species, hence all plants (many hybrids excepted) have a species name; namely a species binomial. The basic category of horticultural classification is the cultivar. Hence for gardeners, typically, the full name of a plant is the species binomial followed by the cultivar epithet.

» Read the article

ImageSharon
Mar 28, 2013 5:09 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Charlie,

When I read your words and when I see pictures of your gardens or those you tend, the first word that comes to mind is 'perfection'. And I appreciate the clarity of your explanations. I'm going to rely on this article this summer, particularly if I see something new in your pictures or others that I want to try for myself.

Thank you for logically explaining what sometimes can be so confusing.
Very nice article.
SunnyBorders
Mar 28, 2013 5:44 PM CST
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Zone 5a
Thanks, Sharon.

It really is confusing, not least because there's discrepancies between the purposes,
and some approaches, of the ICN and the CPC.

In addition, there's the matter of changes in their Rules over time.

Still it's fun to work at these things.
ImageSharon
Mar 28, 2013 6:12 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
It is to me a little like it was when I first learned to play Sudoku. Drove me nuts for a little while then suddenly it all clicked.

So the plant names are a little confusing yes, and those names don't always appear to be the same, but when one of them finally clicks, then it gets much easier, I think.

Unless the ICN and the CPC are at war; then all bets are off.
SunnyBorders
Mar 28, 2013 7:43 PM CST
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Zone 5a
Would say that Sudokus are based on a few rules and also a few strategies for their solution.
As you indicate, Sharon, knowing the rules, applying the strategies (and making no errors!) solves them

With the naming (nomenclature), the rules are very numerous and their arbitrary nature results in disagreement among informed experts.
Think that there is more detail to learn with the ICN, but the CPC tries to deal with some more complicated issues that are also important to gardeners.

Still I do agree that, with a little effort, we gardeners can master whatever we need from the Codes.
ImageSharon
Mar 28, 2013 7:54 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Yes, a few rules and a few strategies comprise Sudoku success or failure. But it's the order that I'm relating to. There is no chaos in solving Sudoku IF you know what you are doing, and knowing the ICN in particular should eliminate chaos in plant groups, i'd think. At least to a certain extent.

Don't know, Charlie, I'm just trying to simplify it in my mind.
ImageLarryR
Mar 29, 2013 10:53 AM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA
An enlightening article, Charlie. Thanks for guiding us through the complex, if not convoluted, plant nomenclature prescriptions and abuses.
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
As a gardener: When planning for a year, I plant corn. When planning for decades, I plant trees. When planning for life, I train and educate people.


Website: https://cottageinthemeadow.plantfans.com/
SunnyBorders
Mar 29, 2013 3:59 PM CST
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Zone 5a
Thanks Larry.

Re abuses: the bit that bothers me is about trademarked names, viz. commercial ownership of plant names.
I'd say that I don't even own my own name!
ImageLarryR
Mar 30, 2013 11:54 AM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA
I just read recently that naming a new plant--can't remember what it was--was up for bid. Companies, whether related to the horticultural industry or not, were allowed to bid and could then use a brand name to name the plant. I haven't come across the result yet.

I find it disturbing that brand names are being used to name public buildings (http://ianchadwick.com/blog/should-we-sell-naming-rights-to-...) and worse yet, university buildings; even worse, names of colleges and departments. It is already fashionable to wear clothing with the brand plastered all over the outside. Companies are, of course, free to do that. I just worry about how far commercialism has burrowed into our culture and, IMHO, cheapened it.
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
As a gardener: When planning for a year, I plant corn. When planning for decades, I plant trees. When planning for life, I train and educate people.


Website: https://cottageinthemeadow.plantfans.com/
ImageLarryR
Mar 30, 2013 12:01 PM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA
Just found one reference to commercial plant naming. It wasn't the one I was thinking of, but will serve as an illustration of the trend:

An interesting new trend is emerging in botanical circles that has already caused a divisive fracture in the taxonomic community. The trend is one of naming new plants after the highest bidder, as has been done for years with buildings and sporting events. One taxonomy camp argues that the money is needed to support their work, while the other camp wants genus and species names reserved for locations where the plants were found, people who were associated with finding the plants, or to simply name the plants after things they resemble.

Most recently, a worldwide naming auction was held for a new species of Hesperantha (iris family) that was discovered in 2011 by Odette Curtis in the Lowland Renosterveld management region of South Africa. The auction for the Overberg Lowlands Conservation Trust was managed by Fauna & Flora International on the Giving Lots on-line auction site. The winning bid was $47,000 USD, although the winner has not been publicly identified. Not only will the winner get to name the species, but they will receive a painting and bronze cast of their new namesake...no mention of a herbarium sheet.


The quote appears in a recent newsletter from Tony Avent. Looks like conventional plant naming may be on the way out. Thumbs down
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
As a gardener: When planning for a year, I plant corn. When planning for decades, I plant trees. When planning for life, I train and educate people.


Website: https://cottageinthemeadow.plantfans.com/
ImageSharon
Mar 30, 2013 12:39 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
And I hate to see it lose to big $$$
Imagevic
Mar 30, 2013 2:19 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
GREAT article Charlie and I, too, will be referring to it as well. Thank you!
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
SunnyBorders
Mar 31, 2013 7:29 AM CST
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Zone 5a
Thanks, Vic.

Interesting, Larry.
Tend to agree with Sharon.

Remember same with insect species.
Approximately one million have been discovered and named so far
(which could be up to only one tenth of all the different living insects).

One binomial sticks in my mind from my past Primate Palaeontology:
Egmowechashala philotau (had to look the spelling up).
It was a very late North American prosimian.

Always seemed unkind putting graduate students in a position where they needed to learn that name.
Still as it was found on Sioux land, it's may have been a kind gesture to use the Sioux language to name it!
ImageLance
Mar 31, 2013 8:54 AM CST
Name: Lance Gardner
coastal plain Virginia
Question authority, guide in wisdom
Another wonderful article, Charlie, and many thanks for continuing to try and enlighten the masses with the rules and reasoning behind the naming. My memory for names seems limited most times, so this will be helpful for keeping track of the hows and whys.
Interesting bit on naming plants after the highest. As funding seems to be limited I can't really blame the ecologists for wanting novel ways for maintaining their income. However, it is frustrating when science seems open to the highest bidder. I just hope scientific integrity is not compromised by this.
Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground -- the unborn of the future Nation. The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations.
Dogs; Family Fun Unplugged; Perennials, Annuals, Veggies; Happy Birthday Wishes
SunnyBorders
Apr 1, 2013 7:53 AM CST
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Zone 5a
Thanks, Lance.

Hit the nail on the head with your "scientific integrity" comment!
ImageLeftwood
Apr 1, 2013 11:44 AM CST
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
Just like your Plants Names I article, my praise still applies:

A great tackling of a complicated subject. I read it with a critical eye, and your clear and concise writing leaves others in the dust.

Many people write a lot and say little, or are ambiguous with their thoughts and facts. Charlie, you are just the opposite! Bravo!!!


I did finally find he the ICNCP eight addition (free) online. But I've never had the time to wade through it. Thanks, Charlie!!!
SunnyBorders
Apr 1, 2013 6:00 PM CST
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Zone 5a
Thanks Rick.

Read a fair bit (= got a lot of help) in writing the article,
but, as you indicate, have to be selective in whose word you take.
Also, as you know, reviews should rely on primary sources.

And once you get beyond the ICNCP, with the names of cultivated plants, you're in the jungle!

« Back to the top
« Cubits.org homepage
« Perennials, Annuals & Veggies: Tips, Tricks & Pix cubit homepage
« Article: Plant Names II: Cultivar names

You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Perennials, Annuals & Veggies: Tips, Tricks & Pix

This cubit is so we can share gardening tips, tricks, ideas, and methods, and talk about what works and does not work. Of course, what works for one person may not work for another, so let’s share why methods may or may not work, as well.

» Home
» Forums
» Articles

Cubit owner: Lance

Admin team:

Moderator of the perennial forum: Charlie (SunnyBorders)