International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants

International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants

The International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP, Cultivated Plant Code) regulates the names of cultigens (plants whose origin or selection is primarily due to intentional human activity).[1] These are, for the most part, plants with names in the classification categories cultivar, Group and grex, the classification categories within the scope of the Cultivated Plant Code (as specified in the 2009 Cultivated Plant Code).


Brief history

The first Cultivated Plant Code (Wageningen), which was agreed in 1952 and published in 1953, has been followed by eight subsequent editions - in 1958 (Utrecht), 1961 (update of 1958), 1969 (Edinburgh), 1980 (Seattle), 1995 (Edinburgh), 2004 (Toronto), and 2009 (Wageningen).[2]

William Stearn has outlined the origins of the first Code, tracing it back to the International Horticultural Congress of Brussels in 1864, when a letter from Alphonse de Candolle to Edouard Morren was tabled. This set out de Candolle's view that Latin names should be reserved for species and varieties found in the wild, with non-Latin or "fancy" names used for garden forms. Karl Koch supported this position at the 1865 International Botanical and Horticultural Congress and at the 1866 International Botanical Congress, where he suggested that future congresses should deal with nomenclatural matters. De Candolle, who had a legal background, drew up the Lois de la Nomenclature botanique (rules of botanical nomenclature). When adopted by the International Botanical Congress of Paris in 1867, this became the first version of today's International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants.[3]

Article 40 of the Lois de la Nomenclature botanique dealt with the names of plants of horticultural origin:

Among cultivated plants, seedlings, crosses [métis] of uncertain origin and sports, receive fancy names in common language, as distinct as possible from the Latin names of species or varieties. When they can be traced back to a botanical species, subspecies or variety, this is indicated by a sequence of names (Pelargonium zonale Mistress-Pollock).[i]

This Article survived redrafting of the International Rules of Botanical Nomenclature until 1935 and its core sentiments remain in the present-day Cultivated Plant Code of 2009.

Following the structure of the Botanical Code the Cultivated Plant Code is set out in the form of an initial set of Principles followed by Rules and Recommendations that are subdivided into Articles. Amendments to the Cultivated Plant Code are prompted by international symposia for cultivated plant taxonomy which allow for rulings made by the International Commission on the Nomenclature of Cultivated Plants. Each new Cultivated Plant Code includes a summary of the changes made to the previous version and these have also been summarised for the period 1953 to 1995.[4]

Examples of names governed by the Cultivated Plant Code

  • Clematis alpina 'Ruby' : a cultivar within a species
  • Magnolia 'Elizabeth' : a hybrid between at least two species
  • Rhododendron boothii Mishmiense Group : a Group name
  • +Crataegomespilus : a graft-chimaera of Crataegus and Mespilus
  • Paphiopedilum Sorel grex : a grex name
  • Apple 'Jonathan' : permitted use of an unambiguous common name with a cultivar epithet

The ICNCP operates within the framework of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature which regulates formal names for plants in general.

Note that the ICNCP does not regulate trademarks for plants: trademarks are regulated by the law of the land involved. Nor does the ICNCP regulate the naming of plant varieties in the legal sense of that term.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Dans les plantes cultivées, les semis, les métis d'origin obscure et les sports, reçoivent des noms de fantaisie, en langue vulgaire, aussi différents que possible des noms latins d'espèces ou de variétés. Quand on peut les rattacher à une espèce, à une sous espèce ou une variété botanique, on l'indique par la succession des noms (Pelargonium zonale Mistress-Pollock)." From: de Candolle, Alphonse (1867). Lois de la nomenclature botanique adoptées par le Congrès international de botanique, tenu à Paris en août 1867; suivies d'une 2e édition de l'introduction historique et du commentaire qui accompagnaient la rédaction préparatoire présentée au Congrès. Geneva and Basle: H. Georg. OCLC 17409844. Retrieved 2011-11-11.  p. 24. In the modern style the species name would be italicized and the cultivar name (fancy name) put in quotes, e.g. Pelargonium zonale 'Mistress Pollock'.
  1. ^ Spencer, R.D. and Cross, R.G. (2007). "The cultigen". Taxon 56(3): 938–940. 
  2. ^ Brickell, C.D. et al. (eds) (2009). "International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP or Cultivated Plant Code) incorporating the Rules and Recommendations for naming plants in cultivation. 8th edn. Adopted by the International Union of Biological Sciences International Commission for the Nomenclature of Cultivated Plants". Scripta Horticulturae (International Society of Horticultural Science) 10: 1–184. ISBN 9780643094406. 
  3. ^ Stearn, William T. (1952). "Proposed International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. Historical Introduction". Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society 77: 157–173. 
  4. ^ Trehane, P. (2004). "50 years of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants: Future prospects for the Code". Acta Horticulturae 634: 17–27. 

External links

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