Australian Cultivar Registration Authority Inc.
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How to construct a cultivar name.
The following is a simplified guide to naming new cultivars. Full details can
be obtained from the International
Code for Nomenclature of Cultivated Plants, 1995.
The name takes the form of the denomination class in italics (= Genus
name in Latin), plus the 'Cultivar Epithet' in a modern language. eg. Grevillea
- 'Cultivar Epithets' must have no more than 10 syllables or 30 letters.
- All the words in a 'Cultivar Epithet' (except words, other than the first
word, like the, a, at, or,
by, etc) start with a capital letter.
- Single quotes are used around the cultivar name
- The abbreviations "cv." or "var." are no longer valid
- Hybrids should not be designated with x before the cultivar
- The name must be more than common descriptive words.
- Common names of plants cannot be used
- Nothing can be used that is likely to cause confusion (eg similarity to
existing cultivar names within the denomination class, place names if more
than one form of the plant exists there) or which exaggerate the merits of
- Copyright or trade marked words cannot be used (so business names are usually
- Trade designations are not recognised as cultivar names.
- Words like cross, hybrid, strain, selection
etc can't be used.
- The cultivar epithet can only be used once within a denomination class (the
- If the taxon of the denomination class is re-assigned (ie. the genus
part of the name changes) the 'Cultivar Epithet' stays the same (unless
the name has already been used for that denomination class). eg. Helichrysum
Princess of Wales became Xerochrysum 'Princess of Wales'.
- Grafted plants assume the name of the scion.
- Authors names are not usually cited.
N.B. These rules apply to cultivars introduced after 1995. Older cultivar names
may not conform to them.
Using the cultivar name
The cultivar name may consist of:
the Genus, followed by the 'Cultivar
the Genus and species,
followed by the 'Cultivar Epithets'
The International Code for Nomenclature of Cultivated Plants states:
7.1 The name of a cultivar or Group consists of the name of the genus or
lower taxonomic unit to which it is assigned together with a cultivar or Group
epithet. The name may be written in a variety of equivalent ways.
Ex. 1. Fragaria 'Cambridge Favourite', Fragaria ananassa 'Cambridge
11 January, 2012