Deb Babcock: Trademarked and patented plants
October 28, 2012
Many of us find this naming of plants very confusing as it is, without the added complication of trademarks and patents and non-trademarked “marketing” names that some nurseries use to sell plants that they want to appear as exclusive to their company.
According to the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants, cultivar names must remain free for everyone to use. These cultivar names are registered with an International Cultivar Registration Authority and are the same throughout the world, making it much less confusing for plant lovers to truly identify a plant. When you look up a plant name, the most accurate way to do so is to find the botanical name (the genus, species and hybrid) followed by a cultivar name, which is usually capitalized and placed between a set of quote marks. Before 1959, cultivar names were often in Latin; modern cultivar names are now in modern languages.