Code of Nomenclature
A preliminary code, containing some explanatory material, was published in the Bulletin for July 1949. This was adopted by the Directors August 19, 1949. It is reprinted here in condensed form for the benefit of breeders, nurserymen and others.
- Seedlings not quite good enough to be named should preferably not be distributed, but if sold it should be simply as seedlings for mass planting. The inferior plants should be destroyed.
- New varieties should be introduced only as clones. The naming of "group" varieties, to include all the offspring of a particular cross, is contrary to general American horticultural practice and should not be done.
- Clones should be introduced under a clone name only, not with a group name attached. Thus we would have, for example, a variety 'Tangerine', not 'Fabia' var. 'Tangerine'. Parentage should be indicated in published descriptions as 'Tangerine' (R. dichroanthum X R. griersonianum). When a group name is already well known, it might be stated that "'Tangerine' is a clone selected from the Fabia group."
- A new variety should be adequately described, both as to plant and flower characters, in some accepted publication (as the A.R.S. Bulletin) using the R. H. S. color charts in the preparation of the color description. The parentage should be given for the benefit of other breeders.
- No name which has previously been used should be used again. No name which has been used for an Azalea should be used for a rhododendron, and vice versa.
- Names should be simple and descriptive or meaningful, in preference to the use of proper names. They should preferably be of one word and under no circumstances Latinized.
- The titles Mr., Mrs., Dr., Capt., etc., should be avoided. Certainly if there is a Mr. Brown rhododendron, then one should not be named Mrs. Brown.
- A variety should not be named after a living person without his consent.
- Breeders are asked to present proposed names and descriptions to the American Rhododendron Society to be added to its check list. If the name were one which had been used previously, the breeder would be requested to choose another name. The American Rhododendron Society does not name new varieties for breeders, nor can it prevent breeders from using any names they may wish. It may suggest that certain proposed names do not conform to the Code.
- Catalogs and articles listing foreign varieties should use the foreign names "as is" and not in translated form.
- In retail catalogs which list any of the group varieties, such group names should be marked "gr." and the following statement should be printed in the catalog:
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 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 P. A., T .G .C., A. M., F. C. C., etc. are clones which have been propagated asexually from the original plant receiving the award.