As you become more and more experienced at growing, the notion of creating your own hybrid may become of interest. On the assumption that you’re knowledgeable enough to take care of the process from pollination through successful deflasking of your seedlings, this will address the process of officially naming and registering your cross. (By the way, you need not be the originator of the cross in order to register your hybrid – more specifics to follow.)
Orchid hybrids are registered through the Royal Horticultural Society in England. The current address is:
International Orchid Registrar
83 Victoria Road
Selston, Nottinghamshire NG16 6AR
Tel. +44 1773 511814, Fax. +44 115 876 7963
telephone/fax: +44 115 939 2828 (from outside UK)
The first thing you’ll need is an application form. They are available at no charge from the registrar or from the American Orchid Society, or you can get it in *.PDF format by clicking Orchid-hybrid-registration. (Click to open, right-click to “save as…”) Please note that the current pricing is $16.50 or £10.
On that form you’ll need to provide the following information:
- Proposed Grex Name – both Genus and two choices for the grex epithet (names you’re proposing.)
- The date you made the cross, and/or the date of the first flowering. Note – hybrids may only be registered by the person who first flowered the plant, but that need not be the person who actually made the cross. If you did make the cross, great. If you did not, you must state the name and address of the originator, and get permission to name the cross from that individual, unless he has passed away or has not responded to written requests for more than three months. (If you wish to register a mature plant you acquired, use the date that it first bloomed for you.) It is also possible to register a cross if the originator is unknown, and you’ll have to explain your efforts to determine the originator. A customer of mine registered a hybrid obtained from me by getting the name of my source of that plant, and inquiring with that grower. They, unfortunately, did not know the source, and stating that “the source was unsuccessfully researched through two previous generations of ownership” was sufficient.
- Names of the parents, both seed and pollen, giving the genus and species or epithet for each; the particular epithet may be given for completeness, but is not necessary. (That is, Oncidium Sharry Baby is sufficient, while Oncidium Sharry Baby ‘Sweet Fragrance’ AM/AOS would be more complete.)
- If the hybrid is between two species, or will be the basis of a new genus, you must provide a color photograph (print or 35mm slide) of the blooming plant.
- Provide your name, address and payment, and mail it away. You should get a response from the registrar in a few weeks, and if accepted, it’s time to change labels!
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