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Registration of orchids

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The International Orchid Register

Unlike most other groups of plants orchids hybridise widely in nature. For the last 150 years they have been widely crossed in cultivation to produce over 110,000 hybrids (called grexes). Orchid hybrids can involve up to 20 distinct species from up to nine distinct natural genera. The first hybrid was made in 1854 and detailed records have been maintained since that time.

For the last 50 years this has been done by the International Registration Authority for Orchid Hybrids, since 1962 under the aegis of The Royal Horticultural Society. Over 3,000 new hybrids are being added annually. A bi-monthly update is published with The Orchid Review, the orchid journal of the RHS, and reprinted in several orchid journals around the world. The update is also available online in pdf format.

List of new orchid hybrids
Provisional List of Pleione Cultivars - updated October 2002 (65KB)

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Searching the International Orchid Register

The International Orchid Register can be searched by two methods:

Parentage Search can be used to identify any grexes from particular seed and pollen parents.
Grex Name Search can be used to find the parentage of particular grexes.

It should be noted that all dates of registration prior to 1990 are given to the year only (e.g. 1/1/65)

If you have a further inquiry about the names of orchid hybrids and/or their parents, it should be made to the International Orchid Registrar, at the following address: 2 Albert Street, Stapleford, Nottingham NG9 8DB, England; tel/fax: 00 44 115 939 2828 (from outside UK), 0115 939 2828 (UK internal); e-mail: orcreg@rhs.org.uk or orcreg@aol.com.

Regulations and applications

The aim of plant nomenclature is to provide every kind of plant with an internationally agreed name that applies only to that particular plant. To achieve this aim two sets of rules ("Codes") have been developed during the last 250 years to cater for the particular needs of the many thousands of orchid growers throughout the world who produce, grow and/or exhibit Orchid Hybrids. Information about the rules and procedures governing the names of such complex hybrids can be obtained from the International Orchid Registrar.

Copies of the form Application for Registration of an Orchid Hybrid and how to register a new orchid hybrid can be downloaded in pdf format (51KB)
The application form is also available in Japanese (284KB)

The following documents may also help in your applications:

Abbreviations for orchid genera - an alphabetical list of abbreviations for orchid genera, as used in Sander's List (Adobe Acrobat pdf 49KB)
List of genera with components - this list includes the new hybrid genera used in registration following the classification proposed in Genera Orchidacearum volume 4 (2005). (Adobe Acrobat pdf 208KB)

Further reading

The International Orchid Register is known as Sander's List of Orchid Hybrids. It is maintained by the International Cultivar Registration Authority for Orchid Hybrids. A CD-ROM of the complete register entitled RHS ORCHIDS 98 is available from the RHS bookshop

Sander, D. & M. Wreford (1961). Sander's List of Orchid Hybrids, Addendum 1946-1960. East Grinstead: David Sander's Orchids.

Anon. (1972). Sander's List of Orchid Hybrids, Addendum 1961-1970. London: RHS.

Anon. (1980). Sander's List of Orchid Hybrids, Addendum 1971-1975. London: RHS.

Anon. (1981). Sander's List of Orchid Hybrids, Addendum 1976-1980. London: RHS.

Anon. (1986). Sander's List of Orchid Hybrids, Addendum 1981-1985. London: RHS.

Anon. (1991). Sander's List of Orchid Hybrids, Addendum 1986-1990. London: RHS.

Anon. (1996). Sander's List of Orchid Hybrids, Addendum 1991-1995. London: RHS.

Anon. (1999). Sander's List of Orchid Hybrids, Addendum 1996-1998. London: RHS.

The Orchid Review: All new registrations are published here first as a LIST OF NEW ORCHID HYBRIDS.
Orchid Registration Advisory Committee Newsletter (13KB)

Links

OrchidWeb - the American Orchid Society's website
Orchid Society of Great Britain