International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants


The ''International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants'' (ICNCP), also known as the Cultivated Plant Code, is a guide to the rules and regulations for naming
cultigen A cultigen (from the Latin ''cultus'' – cultivated, and ''gens'' – kind) or cultivated plant is a plant that has been deliberately altered or selected by humans; it is the result of artificial selection. These plants, for the most part, have co ...
s, plants whose origin or selection is primarily due to intentional human activity. Cultigens under the purview of the ICNCP include '' cultivars'', Groups (''
cultivar groupA Group (previously cultivar-groupInternational Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants, 4th edition (1969), 5th edition (1980) and 6th edition (1995)) is a formal category in the ''International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants The ' ...
s''), and '' grexes''. All organisms traditionally considered to be plants (including
algae Algae (; singular alga ) is an informal term for a large and diverse group of s. It is a grouping that includes species from multiple distinct s. Included organisms range from , such as '','' and the s, to forms, such as the , a large whi ...

fungi A fungus (plural: fungi or funguses) is any member of the group of Eukaryote, eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and Mold (fungus), molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as ...

) are included.
Taxa In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanism ...
that receive a name under the ''ICNCP'' will also be included within taxa named under the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants, for example, a cultivar is a member of a species.

Brief history

The first edition of the ''ICNCP'', which was agreed in 1952 in Wageningen and published in 1953, has been followed by seven subsequent editions – in 1958 (Utrecht), 1961 (update of 1958), 1969 (Edinburgh), 1980 (Seattle), 1995 (Edinburgh), 2004 (Toronto) and 2009 (Wageningen). The ninth (most recent) edition was published in 2016 (Beijing). William Stearn has outlined the origins of ''ICNCP'', tracing it back to the International Horticultural Congress of Brussels in 1864, when a letter from Alphonse de Candolle to Charles Jacques Édouard Morren, Edouard Morren was tabled. This set out de Candolle's view that Latin names should be reserved for species and varieties found in the wild, with non-Latin or "fancy" names used for garden forms. Karl Koch (botanist), Karl Koch supported this position at the 1865 International Botanical and Horticultural Congress and at the 1866 International Botanical Congress, where he suggested that future congresses should deal with nomenclatural matters. De Candolle, who had a legal background, drew up the ''Lois de la Nomenclature botanique'' (rules of botanical nomenclature). When adopted by the International Botanical Congress of Paris in 1867, this became the first version of today's ''International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants'' (''ICN''). Article 40 of the ''Lois de la Nomenclature botanique'' dealt with the names of plants of horticultural origin:
Among cultivated plants, seedlings, crosses [] of uncertain origin and sports, receive fancy names in common language, as distinct as possible from the Latin names of species or varieties. When they can be traced back to a botanical species, subspecies or variety, this is indicated by a sequence of names (Pelargonium zonale ''Mistress-Pollock'').
This Article survived redrafting of the ''International Rules of Botanical Nomenclature'' until 1935 and its core sentiments remain in the present-day ''ICNCP'' of 2009. The first version (1953) was published by the Royal Horticultural Society as a 29-page booklet, edited by William Stearn. Following the structure of the ''Botanical Code'', the ''ICNCP'' is set out in the form of an initial set of Principles followed by Rules and Recommendations that are subdivided into Articles. Amendments to the ''ICNCP'' are prompted by international symposia for cultivated plant taxonomy which allow for rulings made by the International Commission on the Nomenclature of Cultivated Plants. Each new version includes a summary of the changes made to the previous version; the changes have also been summarised for the period 1953 to 1995.

Name examples

The ''ICNCP'' operates within the framework of the ''International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants'' which regulates the scientific names of plants. The following are some examples of names governed by the ''ICNCP'': * ''Clematis alpina'' 'Ruby': a cultivar within a species; the cultivar epithet is in single quotes and capitalized. * Magnolia 'Elizabeth', ''Magnolia'' 'Elizabeth': a selected clone (cultivar) among a pool of Hybrid (biology), hybrid between two species, ''Magnolia acuminata'' (cucumbertree) and ''Magnolia denudata'' (Yulan magnolia). * ''Rhododendron boothii'' Mishmiense Group: a
cultivar groupA Group (previously cultivar-groupInternational Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants, 4th edition (1969), 5th edition (1980) and 6th edition (1995)) is a formal category in the ''International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants The ' ...
name; both the name of the cultivar group and the word "Group" are capitalized and not enclosed in quotes. * ''Paphiopedilum'' Maudiae 'The Queen': a combination of Grex (horticulture), grex name and cultivar name; the name of the grex is capitalized, and may be followed by a clonal (cultivar) name such as 'The Queen' in this case. ''Paphiopedilum'' Maudiae is a hybrid between ''Paphiopedilum callosum'' and ''Paphiopedilum lawrenceanum''. 'The Queen' is a selected clone (cultivar). * Apple 'Jonathan': permitted use of an unambiguous common name with a cultivar epithet. * +Crataegomespilus, +''Crataegomespilus'': a graft-Chimera (biology), chimera of ''Crataegus'' and ''Mespilus'' Note that the ''ICNCP'' does not regulate trademarks for plants: trademarks are regulated by the law of the land involved. Nor does the ''ICNCP'' regulate the naming of plant variety (law), plant varieties in the legal sense of that term.

Trade designations

Many plants have "selling names" or "marketing names" as well as a cultivar name; the ''ICNCP'' refers to these as "trade designations". Only the cultivar name is governed by the ''ICNCP''. It is required to be unique; in accordance with the principle of priority, it will be the first name that is published or that is registered by the discoverer or breeder of the cultivar. Trade designations are not regulated by the ''ICNCP''; they may be different in different countries. Thus the German rose breeder W. Kordes' Sons, Reimer Kordes registered a white rose in 1958 as the cultivar 'KORbin'. This is sold in the United Kingdom under the selling name "Rosa Iceberg, Iceberg", in France as "" and in Germany as "". Trade designations are not enclosed in single quotes. The ''ICNCP'' states that "trade designations must always be distinguished typographically from cultivar, Group and grex epithets." It uses small capitals for this purpose, thus ''Syringa vulgaris'' (trade designation) is distinguished from ''S. vulgaris'' 'Andenken an Ludwig Späth' (cultivar name). Other sources, including the Royal Horticultural Society, instead use a different font for selling names, e.g. ''Rosa'' 'KORbin'.

See also

* Cultigen * Cultivated plant taxonomy * ''International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants'' * International Cultivar Registration Authority




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External links

Adams, Denise (2000) "Language of Horticulture" Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, Ohio State University
from Web Archive
International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants Dutch version 1953

The International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP) at Biocyclopedia

PDF of 9th edition of ICNCP
{{botany, state=collapsed Botanical nomenclature Cultivars Plant taxonomy Nomenclature codes International classification systems