Every now and then, gardeners and nurserymen will create or find a new plant. These may be seedlings from a garden, deliberate crosses or particular selections from a species. The term for such plants is “cultivar”, which is derived from the terms “cultivated variety”. Often the finder or breeder will want to give a name to such a plant and this section shows how to go about this task for Geranium and Erodium cultivars.
The aim is to help individuals and nurseries to properly name such cultivars in line with the “Cultivated Code”, an internationally accepted set of rules which exist for this purpose. These ensure that all names are properly registered, avoiding duplications and making sure that a name can be tied to a plant via a description that is available to all interested parties.
The co-ordinator for this task is known as the International Cultivar Registrar for Geranium and Erodium, under the aegis of the International Geraniaceae Group. He publishes a Register of names which is the accepted bible for the two genera. There is no charge made for the registration of cultivars.
The Cultivated Code lays down detailed rules concerning the formation of names. These include that the name must be unique, that the cultivar should have one or more distinguishing characteristics and that it should be described and the details published. Latinate names may not be used as they cause confusion with botanical naming.
If you are interested in registering a new cultivar name, please complete a copy of the form and send it to the Registrar. Only a brief description of the plant is required at this stage. The Registrar will be pleased to arrange for the full description to be formally drafted and published later if necessary.