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 Actually, I'm not bored.  Does it say anywhere in there whether digits
are allowed in hosta names?  That's really all I was wondering about.


Bill Meyer wrote:

  Hi Chick,
         I'm no expert on the code, but basically it's like this ---
         The "legality" of a name is laid out in rules set by the
  International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants or ICNCP. The code
  was changed substantially in the last meeting and allows numbers in the name
  and more syllables too.
         Unfortunately, they sell the code book and don't put the info up
  anywhere for free. The individual registration authorities (ICRA) must
  adhere to the code where it is specific, but have leeway where it is open to
  interpretation. A lot of it is open to interpretation. Jim Wilkins is the
  current registration authority for hosta. The AHS sponsors the registration
  authority and had early input into the interpretation areas and the system,
  but has not been very involved with it lately. Basically, it's the
  registrar's call on whether to accept a name or not, so long as it meets the
  minimum obligations set down by the code.
          Below is some reading material if you're bored.
  Here's a brief explanation:
  The wide acceptance of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated
  Plants (ICNCP) depends on its rules being truly international and applicable
  to as many countries and languages as possible, and being precise and
  user-friendly. In the case of the Chinese language, forbidding the inclusion
  of the common or vernacular name of a genus, nothogenus or species as the
  final part of a Chinese cultivar epithet may render the cultivar epithet
  linguistically awkward, and so this rule should be modified. Since in French
  (and in many other Romance languages) adjectives usually come after the
  substantive they modify, the Code does not seem fair to stipulate that
  English names such as Camellia 'Perfect Rose' could not be established after
  1995, while the equivalent French names such as Camellia 'Rose Parfaite' are
  still perfectly establishable. Naming cultivars with numerals or arbitrary
  sequences of letters (which are not words) should be allowed (though not
  recommended), and this should be clearly stated, since such names are fairly
  common, as can be seen in the examples in the Code. The limit on the length
  of cultivar-group epithets should be brought in line with that for cultivar
  epithets, instead of being based on number of words. The Code should provide
  for the formation of a "species" epithet in Latin form for all distinct
  graft-chimaeras that arise from the same component species belonging to the
  same genus or different genera, to distinguish them from graft-chimaeras
  that arise from other component species of the genus or genera. These and
  other issues that may or may not find easy solutions are presented for
  About an ICRA:
  *What is ICRA?
  International Cultivar Registration Authorities (ICRAs), whether they
  represent agricultural, forestry or horticultural disciplines, are appointed
  by the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) through its
  Commission for Nomenclature and Registration and are contracted to operate
  within the provisions of the current edition of the International Code of
  Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP).
  The purpose of an ICRA is to:
  Promote fixity and stability in the nomenclature of cultivars and
  cultivar-groups within designated plant groups and to produce and promote
  authoritative checklists and registers of all names known to have been in
  use in such groups.
  The primary functions of an ICRA are:
  (a) To register cultivar and cultivar-group names in the denomination class
  for which they have accepted responsibility, and to ensure their publication
  and establishment.
  (b) To record, publish and make otherwise available, full lists of all
  cultivar and cultivar-group names in that denomination class whether they
  are in current use or are part of the historical record so as to provide the
  world community with authoritative listings of names.
  (c) To maintain records, in as great a detail as is practical, of the
  origin, characteristics and history of each cultivar and cultivar-group in
  that denomination class.
  It is NOT the function of an ICRA:
  (a) To conduct trials.
  (b) To judge if one cultivar or cultivar-group is more meritorious or more
  useful than another.
  (c) To judge distinctness of cultivars or cultivar-groups.
  ICRAs record and register more than just cultivar names: they also record
  and register cultivar-group names and often record other devices used in
  labelling plant material so as to help avoid confusion with properly
  established cultivar names. Variety denominations used by some statutory
  registration authorities are exactly equivalent to cultivar names.
  Cultivar names become fixed when they appear with a description in print in
  a dated publication - as long as they are in an acceptable form and
  generally as long as they have not been used before. The ICNCP rules on what
  is an "acceptable form" and is generous in its provisions: any restrictions
  are there to avoid names which are either misleading or which might lead to
  There are three ways in which a name becomes fixed under the ICNCP. Either a
  person publishes a new name, complete with description, in a dated, printed
  work or one registers a name directly with an ICRA who will ensure that the
  name is published on behalf of the registrant. The other route to
  establishing a name is through its entry onto a register established by a
  statutory authority such as in governmental National Lists. The name first
  published for a cultivar is generally the one to be fixed, unless it fails
  due to it being incorrectly formed or unless it is otherwise unacceptable.
  *Trehane, P. What are International Cultivar Registration Authorities ?  <http://www.ishs.org/sci/icraexpl.htm>  (Accessed: November 6, 2003)
  *Trehane, P. Introduction to the ICRA system  <http://www.ishs.org/sci/icraintr.htm>  (Accessed: November 6, 2003)

  Here are some links if you're interested --- 
  History of the ICNCP -   http://bsi.org/brom_info/cultivar/ICNCP.html  About naming cultivars -   http://www.ishs.org/sci/icraname.htm  More discussion -   http://www.genres.de/IGRREIHE/IGRREIHE/DDD/22-08.pdf  
                               .........Bill Meyer

    I think I was told that we can't use digits in legal hosta names.  True?
    Any nomenclature experts out there?
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