> is a pretty good grex all around, probably quite a few inferior clones
> the cultivar Cym. Alexanderi 'Westonbirt' is superior, and the most grown
> If you like Paphiopedilum callosum you may find its offspring Paph.
> easier to grow and a more showy version. Cultivars (clones) 'Magnificum'
> 'The Queen' are to superior ice-green and white flowered ones. The very
> (vini-colored) clones, the best ones, are also named, and you would
> want to look for them. Buying an unnamed cultivar-clone - whatever - of
> does not insure such top percentile superiority, and indeed you may get
> something very average (although Paphs are always spectacular [interesting
> in many of them the top sepal and often the flower bract and petals
> striped spathe of many Arisaema species]). Noone ever calls these
> 'The Queen' or P. 'Magnificum'.
> The Slc. (Sophrolaeliocattleya) Hazel Boyds (plural indicating all of this
> are pretty spectacular. The bright red color of certain Laelia species and
> likewise of Sophronitis coccinea along with the sophro's miniature status,
> been line-bred back to the well shaped Cattleya gene pool. You must know
> because even so they do best in the Sophronitis's origin in higher
> cooler conditions.
You must know such things of every cultivar, viz. what are its qualities.
You don't need grexes for that.
> Yet no one wanting a nice orange mini-catt refers to it as Slc.
> the best red cultivar (in my opinion) as Cattleya 'Torchy'.
That is unfortunately so because orchid growers and amateurs (two enormously
overlapping classes) have forgotten to promote superior clones and instead
sooner sell a grex because it is easier to create one and marked
immediately, without going through the painstaking process of REALLY
selecting and maintaing the best there is. Amateur breeders are generally
imressed by the chance of registering something so that their names are
printed in a book or list. Grex is a good vehikel for this because it
doesn't take anything to register it (just parentage). I maintain, it is a
fine (is it?) local phenomenon but must stay there. So let's stop talking
about grexes when it comes down to aroid-registration and nomenclature.
> Flameout 'Torchy' is a larger plant and flower with an infusion of unique
> due to the genus Brassavola (actually now reclassified as Rhyncholaelia)
> to the Slc. mix. Most, if not all of the above named (by named I mean to
> precision of the cultivar/clone level) have awards from the RHS and/or the
> which then become permanently appended to their name, eg. Brassocattleya
> 'Starbeck' AM/AOS.
Ah, yes, the RHS award system: another stimulus to name just about every
plant that comes up from seed and is sent to an RHS trial. It is a shame
that RHS issued the rule that such entries must all have a name. Their
merits are unknown, their numbers are unknown. So we give away names forever
for material that may not live to see anything outside the backyard nursery
of the "breeder". WHY are we all so happy with these amateuristic systems?
names, names, names, awards, awards etc. Personal honour is the driving
force and no recourse is taken with the detrimentous effects it has on a
worldwide nomenclature as advocated and promoted by the Cultivated Plant
> These cultivar designations alone for aroids are not precise enough and
> the cultivar from its genetic background.
This is utter nonsense. A cultivar epithet is the most precise thing you can
tag a cultivar with because it is the direct reference to a description of
that cultivar and thus informs the potential buyer. If somebody wanted to
give parental information, that is equally possible and can be done with the
description, or later. One can also enumerate the merits of the cultivar,
all by using the correct epithet. THAT is what I call precision! The grex
name says nothing in itself and must also refer back to written information,
in this case parentage and ONLY parentage, which is much less information
than the information needed to establish a proper cultivar.
> In judging these plants it helps to know their parentage
That is a matter of the definition of the judging itself. If I were to
arrange trials in which merits of a cultivar are the predominant criterion,
then parentage would not interest me in the least. Whether I find a cultivar
A better in colour than B is a matter on its own and I need not know
anything of parentage to decide that.
and if a particular
> cultivar is then an improvement to its parents or superior to its siblings
> that grex.
> The proliferation of registrations would be in cultivar names and unless a
> record of their ancestry is kept the species contributing to their genetic
> makeup would be a guess.
No, the proliferation would NOT be in cultivars because REALLY good
cultivars are always few relative to the number of siblings they are
selected from. I am sure from a majority of grexes would not even yield ONE
useful cultivar if the grex was being scrutinised heavily for improvement.
That is the point: grexes are registered irrespective of their usefulness,
cultivars not (except those that are up for trails by the RHS). Look at the
number of grex names in large-flowered Cymbidiums and look ate the actually
commercially interesting cultivars. That should tell us something.