Report of Committee on Nomenclature and Registration
This committee met at the University of Washington Arboretum at Seattle, Washington, at 10:00 a.m., August 19, 1949. The following report was made to the Board of Directors, meeting in the afternoon of the same day, and was approved by them.
The Committee on Nomenclature and Registration of the American Rhododendron Society recommends that a system of awards be established to grant recognition to worthy new varieties of Rhododendrons and Azaleas and to the breeders who have produced them. This system should be in general accord with the English system but distinct enough so that there will be no chance of confusion. Awards will be to clonal varieties, not "group" varieties.
The first award shall be entitled "Preliminary Award (P. A.). This award may be granted to a single complete plant growing in a garden or exhibited at a show, or under special circumstances to a truss with foliage in a show.
The second, and higher, award shall be called "Test Garden Certificate" (T. G. C.) and will be awarded to worthy plants which have been propagated vegetatively and are growing in a recognized test garden. A variety must have been observed in bloom in the test garden by the judges for at least two years before the T. G. C. is awarded.
Judging for the P.A. in private gardens or non-accredited shows must be by request as far in advance as possible to the American Rhododendron Society. There is no guarantee that the judges will be able to see any particular plant at a given time, because of travel problems. However, an effort will be made to take care of requests. It is suggested that growers who cannot be reached by official judges should propagate their plants and send them to one of the test gardens where they can be scored.
No special request is necessary where a variety is entered in a special award class in a show accredited by the American Rhododendron Society. Plants officially entered for scoring in recognized test gardens will be checked by the judges without special requests.
The origin of the plant must be certified by the person requesting scoring or entering in special award class or test garden.
Judging will be on a score card basis as follows: Flower characters 60%, leaf characters 25%, bush characters 15%. A variety scoring 90% or over may be given an award with 4 stars, as: Stardust T. G. C. ****. A variety scoring 80% or over, and less than 90%, may be given a 3 star rating; a variety scoring 70% or over and less than 80% may be given a 2 star rating. Varieties scoring less than 70% should not be given awards. The Society reserves the right to revise A. R. S. ratings. Judges should consider distinctiveness of a variety in making awards and should be critical of seedlings which are almost identical with some other named variety. If a number of seedlings of the same parentage and with very similar characteristics are entered, the award should be made only to the most outstanding one.
The awards May be made by a majority vote of the judges provided at least 3 official judges score the entry. It is suggested that there be at least 15 official judges appointed throughout the United States by the President of the American Rhododendron Society with the approval of the Committee on Judging. It is recommended that a standing "Committee on Judging" be appointed by the President.
The judges shall turn in, with their decision granting an award, a description for publication, not to exceed 100 words. This description shall include variety name, name of person requesting the scoring, parentage of the variety, name of the breeder, place where scored (private garden, test garden, or show), flower characters including season of bloom, colors (to be designated by Royal Horticultural Society color chart standards), leaf characters, type. and probable size of plant.
If an official judge has an entry of his own, he shall not be present when it is scored.
It is suggested that official test gardens be established, if agreeable to the proper authorities, at the Arboretum of the University of Washington at Seattle, and at the Morris Arboretum in the suburbs of Philadelphia. It is recommended that the Directors try to locate a suitable test garden site at some institution in the Portland-Eugene, Oregon, region. It is also recommended that the possibility of a test garden site suitable for azaleas, at some institution in the Southeast, be investigated. An important factor is to have the test gardens where they can be reached by official judges.
Agreements should be worked out between the American Rhododendron Society and the authorities of the Botanical Gardens (or other institutions) so that the test garden project will be officially on record and would not be endangered by a change in personnel.
It is suggested that an entry fee of $2.50 per variety should be charged by the Society. Varieties entered in test gardens must be accepted by the Committee on Judging and the test garden management, because of possible limitations of space. The exhibitor may specify the test garden in which he wants to enter a variety but it is suggested that in some cases, at least, plants' should be sent to more than one.
It is suggested that one to three plants of a variety, depending on anticipated size, three for dwarf varieties, be provided when making a test garden entry. Plants should be approaching flowering size.
Plants entered for awards shall become the property of the test garden (or the institution at which it is located) but stock may not be disposed of without permission of the exhibitor.
The judges should recommend that inferior varieties should be eliminated from test gardens after adequate observation, and after the person submitting the variety for test has been notified.
There is no objection to the entering of recent foreign varieties in the test gardens if the originators wish to send them and they are acceptable to the Committee on Judging and to the test garden.
It is recommended that this Committee look into the rhododendron herbarium situation in the United States. At present the most complete herbarium of this genus is at the Royal Botanic Garden at Edinburgh, Scotland. It would be desirable to encourage the development of at least one, and possibly two (one in the East, one in the West) extensive herbarium collections in this country so that unknown plants could more readily be identified.
It is recommended that this Committee start compilation of a master check list of horticultural varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas. This list should include variety name, whether clone or group, parentage, color, season, plant type, hardiness, ratings, awards, and should give reference, where possible, to the original description of the variety. A working arrangement should be established with Rhododendron Societies in other countries to cooperate in this project. Breeders will be asked to submit proposed names plus the necessary information which will be added to the list. If the name submitted has been used previously for a variety of this genus, the breeder will be requested to choose another name.
Statement Of "Varieties"
It is recommended that the following statement be submitted to rhododendron nurseries with the request that they print it in their catalogs:
Two types of horticultural varieties of rhododendrons are in the nursery trade. The first type includes those varieties which have been propagated asexually by cuttings, layers, or grafts from one original selected seedling. Such varieties are called clones or clonal varieties and all plants of such a variety have identical characters except as they are influenced by environment. The second type of variety consists of a group of seedlings of a particular cross, usually between two species, or between a species and a variety. Such "group" varieties exhibit more or less variation, so that two plants of such a variety may be quite different. As recommended in the Preliminary Code of Nomenclature published by the American Rhododendron Society, we are marking all "Group" varieties by the abbreviation "gr." All varieties not so marked are clones. All special award varieties, marked A.M., F.C.C., etc. are clones which have been propagated asexually from the original plant receiving the award.