Plant Database forum: Common name / cultivar confusion

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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 28, 2016 10:30 AM CST
These are 2 entries in the DB here that may be just common names for their respective species, not formal cultivar names:

Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida 'Purple Heart')
Nephthytis (Syngonium podophyllum 'Trileaf Wonder')

I could find no record of a patent for either. Are there other facilities besides patents for decreeing to the world that a plant cultivar exists?
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 30, 2016 10:15 AM CST
purpleinopp said:

I could find no record of a patent for either. Are there other facilities besides patents for decreeing to the world that a plant cultivar exists?


Yes, either registration with the ICRA (International Cultivar Registration Authority) for the genus, or independently in print in a circulated publication acceptable under the ICNCP (International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants). Maybe also with a plant patent/variety rights of another country.

Name: Sue
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sooby
Sep 30, 2016 10:45 AM CST
According to Mobot, Tradescantia 'Purple Heart' is a cultivar synonymous with 'Purpurea'
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFind...
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Sep 30, 2016 1:52 PM CST
sooby said:According to Mobot, Tradescantia 'Purple Heart' is a cultivar synonymous with 'Purpurea'
]http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFind...
That's not exactly how I interpret it. The quote is
"Tradescantia pallida (synonymous with Setcreasea purpurea) is native to Mexico. In tropical and semi-tropical areas, it is commonly grown outdoors as a popular, albeit weedy, ground cover. It is commonly called purple heart."
So Purple Heart is the common name for the species Tradescantia pallida.
The next part of the statement is [quote]โ€˜Purpureaโ€™ (sometimes sold as โ€˜Purple Heartโ€™) is a cultivar that features purple foliage which is superior to that of the species.

The key here is "sometimes sold as", so Tradescantia pallida 'Purpurea' should have Purple Heart listed as under "also sold as". But for the straight species Tradescantia pallida it should only be listed as a common name not a separate cultivar.
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 30, 2016 2:04 PM CST
TY, well said. That was my thought but I'm sure my ability to search for confirmed cultivar names is not top level.

If one uses a common name as a cultivar name, it completely loses its' distinction, so it would be strange for someone to choose to name their cultivar that way. "Here's a new kind of purple heart. It's called 'Purple Heart.'" ?? And purpurea is as suspicious from being a former species name when the genus was Setcreasea. Of course I don't know even most plants but have never seen a cultivar name that was the same as the species, current or past.
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[Last edited by purpleinopp - Sep 30, 2016 2:05 PM (+)]
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Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Sep 30, 2016 2:14 PM CST
I'm sure there are a few other plants that have common names listed as cultivars. I've been meaning to ask the same question about a few Hibiscus species because I have been unable to confirm the cultivar names and I'm not sure where to go to verify the validity of the cultivar names.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 30, 2016 2:23 PM CST
If I'm interpreting the ICNCP correctly, a common name could be included in a cultivar name for the same plant if established prior to 1959. What I was trying to say was that Mobot considered it a cultivar a. by saying so, and b. by using single quotes, which designate a cultivar under the ICNCP. I agree it would be better to have it under the cultivar name 'Purpurea', although the Royal Horticultural Society also gives 'Purple Heart' as a synonym - not sure if this link to their page for it will work:

https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/18297/i-Tradescantia-pallida-i...

You may have to click on "See more" under synonyms
[Last edited by sooby - Sep 30, 2016 2:23 PM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 30, 2016 2:35 PM CST
ICRA genus search:
http://www.ishs.org/sci/taxlist/taxlist.htm

I found no listing for Tradescantia genus or Commelinaceae family.

I was directed to International Aroid Society
http://www.aroid.org/cvwiki/
regarding Syngonium:
http://www.aroid.org/cvwiki/index.php/Syngonium
'Trileaf Wonder' is listed, so I remove that from question in this discussion.

But I could find no info in the entries for 35-40 Syngonium cultivars I tried to check. I checked Aglaonema, no details under the entries there. I couldn't find a repository of descriptions &/or pics of cultivars there.
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โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Sep 30, 2016 2:45 PM CST
I just noticed we have both 'Pupurea' and 'Purple Heart' as cultivars under Tradescantia pallida, so presumably they should be merged with 'Purpurea' being the primary name. This cultivar listing has 'Purpurea' dating back to 1957.

http://www2.bishopmuseum.org/HBS/botany/cultivatedplants/?pg...
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 30, 2016 2:52 PM CST
purpleinopp said:ICRA genus search:
http://www.ishs.org/sci/taxlist/taxlist.htm

I found no listing for Tradescantia genus or Commelinaceae family.



Tradescantia is listed by the ICRA for hardy herbaceous perennials:

http://www.ishs.org/sci/icralist/39.htm
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 30, 2016 2:56 PM CST
http://www.isu-perennials.org/
I give up trying to find a list of cultivars there.
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โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
[Last edited by purpleinopp - Sep 30, 2016 3:06 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue
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sooby
Sep 30, 2016 4:05 PM CST
I've given up there too, I don't think they have a database on line.

I did a bit of research and found the reference for 'Purpurea' as the cultivar name. It is in Notes on Tradescantia pallida: American Commelinaceae: III
D. R. Hunt
Kew Bulletin, Vol. 31, No. 1 (1976), p. 104

"...I propose that Boom's species be treated as a cultivar , to be named Tradescantia pallida cv. ' Purpurea ' ......."
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 30, 2016 4:31 PM CST
Also found this which refers to 'Purple Heart' as a cultivar:

https://projects.ncsu.edu/cals/plantbiology/ncsc/vulpia/pdf/...

Fantz, P. R. "CULTIVATED MONOCOTYLEDONOUS TAXA AT THE NC STATE UNIVERSITY HERBARIUM PAUL R. FANTZ, F. TODD LASSEIGNE AND DIANE MAYS." Vulpia 3 (2004

Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Oct 1, 2016 5:51 AM CST
I know folks did it out of their own curiosity, but I also thank everyone for their efforts. TYVM! There seems to be an amalgam of evidence to tenuously support a cultivar but it's taken quite an effort to assemble. I must admit I'm frustrated that there's no way to easily check these things in the age of "everything's online," especially data that is 60 yrs old.

This description is not a proper written key, "purple foliage which is superior to that of the species." Does no formal description of species vs. cultivar exist?

Now the huge question is, "what does the plain species looks like?" I'm thinking I've never seen this mystery plant.
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โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Oct 1, 2016 6:11 AM CST
The plain species should be the one in the database under Tradescantia pallida. Species is a botanical rank wereas cultivar (CULTivated VARiety) is a horticultural variation below the rank of species, to oversimplify. They come under different codes of nomenclature. The leaflet and booklet below may help.

http://www.hortax.org.uk/uploads/4/1/3/5/4135326/hortax_name...

http://www.hortax.org.uk/uploads/4/1/3/5/4135326/hortax_plan...

I so agree with you about no single place to verify cultivar names. There are some databases but none seem complete. Some cultivar names would be very old also, predating the formal registers and the ICNCP. The single quotes should identify a cultivar as opposed to a variety (variety, or more correctly varietas is preceded by var. and the name in italics as opposed to Roman) but they are often used wrongly so can't always be relied upon. The RHS does verify plant names for their database, and Missouri Botanical Garden should also be a reasonable source to check.
[Last edited by sooby - Oct 1, 2016 6:29 AM (+)]
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Name: Lin
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plantladylin
Oct 1, 2016 2:06 PM CST
It sure would be nice to have a place to verify all registered cultivar names! Awhile back I questioned Epipremnum aureum 'Golden Pothos' thinking it was an error, being that Golden Pothos is a common name but I was referred to this comment by eclayne at the bottom of the database page: "Not to be confused with Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
'Golden Pothos', registered with the Vaste Keurings Commissie in 1990, has both leaves and stems an unmarked golden-yellow.

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