Tuesday, 20 February 2018
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A Quick Guide to Naming a New Cultivar



Adapted from:


International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants


A publication of the International Society for Horticultural Science



An ideal name is both easy to spell and pronounce in the various countries in which the cultivar might be distributed. The rules for creating a new name allow you to use or make up any word or words you want but the name will not be allowed if it is likely to cause confusion with an existing name.The following check list is a guideline in choosing a name for your cultivar.


1. Make sure your suggested name is unique – check the existing database to ensure uniqueness. 


2. Make sure that your name cannot be confused either in spelling or pronunciation with an existing cultivar


3. Make sure that your name does not convey the merits of the cultivar (i.e. do NOT use superlatives such as ‘Best Ever’, ‘The Greatest’ and ‘Tastiest of All’


4. Each word of a cultivar name must start with an initial capital letter unless linguistic custom demands otherwise. Exceptions are words after a hyphen unless they are proper nouns. (ex. Commander-in-Chief)


5. Make sure that your name has no more than 30 characters, excluding spaces


6. A cultivar name should be as short as practical and should not consist of nor contain overly long words that may be difficult to write or pronounce. (ex. “Diplomgartenbauinspektor” may be considered difficult to write or pronounce)


7. A cultivar name that contains the name of a living person should not be used unless that person has given permission for their name to be used.


8. Avoid the use of Latin Words


9. Do not use any of these banned words in any language in your name: “hybrid”, “cultivar”, “grex”, “group”, “form”, “maintenance”, “mixture”, “selection”, “sport”, “series”, “variety” (or the plural form of these words in any language) or the words “improved” and “transformed”


10. Do not use fractions or symbols


11. Do not use any punctuation marks except for the apostrophe ('), the comma (,), the hyphen (-),  and the full stop or period (.); a maximum of two exclamation marks (!) may be included but they may not be side-by-side


12. Do not use single letters or single numbers, or combinations of a single letter or number with a punctuation mark