Currently, the rules do not provide a clear, organized way to handle recognition of distinctly different strains in hybrid registration. Under the new rules it will be possible to assign a "group name" for strains derived from taxonomically established variants.
Left: The former Blc. Bryce Canyon 'Splendiferous' AM/AOS is now properly Rhyncholaeliocattleya Bryce Canyon. Brassavola digbyana is correctly, Rhyncholaelia digbyana.
Dateline London - May 20, 2009
Meeting of the RHS Advisory Subcommittee on Orchid Hybrid Registration (ASCOHR)
Twice yearly, this subcommittee meets to discuss matters that impact orchid nomenclature and the registration of orchid hybrids. At this spring's meeting, several agenda items were addressed that will have an impact our hobby. First, the last round of changes in cattleya names (Sophronitis to Cattleya Transfers) I wrote about here in March have been made. The RHS online database now reflects those changes. While the database does retrieve older, synonymous, genus names it is not currently set up to search for those names. This means that a search of Brassolaeliocattleya Bryce Canyon will yield no hits however a search under the new name Rhyncholaeliocattleya Bryce Canyon will result in a single hit. When this record is opened, the older name, Brassolaeliocattleya, will be listed as a synonym. Since many of the new genus names will seem unfamiliar for a while, searches might best be done by entering only the grex name or the names of the two parents without genus. For instance, to find Rhyncholaeliocattleya (Brassolaeliocattleya) Bryce Canyon, enter just the grex name Bryce Canyon. Future website updates will address additional search enhancements. At it's fall meeting, the subcommittee will take up the changes to the nomenclature of the Oncidium Alliance discussed in Mark Chase's April 2009 Orchids Magazine article. Volume 5 of Genera Orchidacearum, deals, in part, with these changes and will be published just prior to the subcommittee's fall meeting.
This fall, the newest nomenclature rules will be published by the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS). Contained in the new rules will be provisions for the registration of names below grex. Currently, the rules do not provide a clear, organized way to handle recognition of distinctly different strains in hybrid registration. Under the new rules it will be possible to assign a "group name" for strains derived from taxonomically established variants. It might help to consider an example. The grex name for the cross Paphiopedilum (venustum x Saint Swithin) is Paph. Booth's Saint-Vent; regardless of the varietal form of Paph. venustum used even though the cross made using the albinistic Paph. venustum var. measuresianum (the correct name for plants often called Paph. venusutm var. album) may have distinctly different color combinations than a strain derived from the normally colored variants. Under the new rules, it will be possible to establish a group name for the strain Paph. (venustum var. measuresianum x Saint Swithin) [a name below grex]. Plants may be marketed under these group names but the grex name is, and will remain, the dominant name so awards to this strain would still be awards to Paph. Booth's Saint-Vent. I'll have more to say about this after the fall ASCOHR meeting.
Lastly, the fee charged to register new hybrids will be increased in January to £10.00. At the present time, a fee in US$ has not been established but in all likelihood a fee fixed for a year based on the January exchange rate will be used and the RHS is examining a quantity discount for multiple registrations submitted as one time. No one wants to see costs increase but sometimes it's absolutely necessary. The last time the fee was adjusted was June of 1990 when it was reduced from £15 to the current £7.50 ($12.50) and inflation has steadily eaten away at the pound's purchasing power. In addition, the fee assessed in US$ has not changed since 1990 while the exchange rate has fluctuated widely and no attempt has been made to recover bank currency conversion costs. Currently the RHS employs a full time Senior Registrar and an Assistant to the Registrar and handles some 3,000 applications per year. In 2008 the total cost to the RHS for orchid registrations was £49,600 while the revenue from registration charges was £24,771 or about 50% of the actual costs incurred. The planned increase in registration fee will bring the recovery rate to about 67%. The target recovery rate is 75% and an additional modest increase in the fee of £1.25 is planned for January of 2012. Following that increase, the registration fee will be formally assessed every two years and proposed changes will be presented to ASCOHR to seek advice of the members.
- Ron McHatton, AOS Director of Education and Regional Operations, AOS Representative to ASCOHR.