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From: "Derek Burch" derek at horticulturist.com> on 2006.11.28 at 16:09:02(14873)
To everyone exercised about plant
names (all of us for different reasons),

The sad thing about cultivar names
is that even if they are registered with an authority who are themselves
registered as the official body to receive the names, there is absolutely no
protection by having done this. Anyone can plonk a cultivar name on a plant
which they possess and can even register it (since the criteria for it being a
distinct plant and available for naming are quite bendable), and offer it for
sale under that name. The only protection is if the naming authority is really
on top of their job, and can get wide publicity to expose this duplicity.

I was hesitant to enter into this
discussion since I am supposed to be the registrar for aroids, and have fallen
down completely on the job. My excuse is that there are very, very few of the
cultivar names floating around which are eligible for registration, and I’m
not sure that I have the resources to track down for each one the vital fact of
their having been published with a description in a printed (hard copy, not
electronic) piece that is available to the public. So I cannot manage the base
lists for even the few genera in which cultivar names are supposed to exist. Note
that a cultivar name doesn’t exist as far as a registration authority is
concerned until it has been published in a printed piece and submitted to them.

So that is my mea culpa which is not relevant to the discussion,
but everyone should realize the one point made above which is that this whole
thing (registration and compliance) is voluntary, and we can bemoan people’s
activities all we like, but can only try to steer them to paths of
righteousness by example (or boycott !!)

This does not even address the plant
patent question, and the fact that a cultivar name cannot be patented since it
would not then be available for everyone to use (another provision of the

Enjoy the plants, and hope that one
day uniform of naming come to pass …


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