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More exam commentaries - from level 3 Plant Growth
by Janet Prescott - Monday, 19 November 2018, 6:01 PM

R3101 Feb’18

2 a) Explain the meaning of the following terms giving ONE NAMED example for EACH:

i)                 cultivar [3 marks]

ii)                trade designation  [3 marks]

 b) Describe the significance of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP) for horticulturists.  [4 marks]

 This question relates to the following part of the syllabus:

1.2 Describe features of plant classification and nomenclature relevant to horticulture.

Explain the meaning and use of the terms: cultivar, Group, trade designation (selling name), Plant Breeders’ Rights, interspecific, intergeneric and graft hybrids, naming authority. To include ONE NAMED plant example for EACH of the above terms, showing how it is written.

 State the significance of the ICN (The International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants) formerly ICBN (International Code of Botanical Nomenclature) and the ICNCP (International Code for Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants) in the naming of plants.

 For part a) it is important to provide an accurate example for each. The spelling needs to be correct and it needs to be written in the correct format. The examiner’s comments point out that many candidates muddled cultivar and trade designation.

 An example of a cultivar is:

Rosa ‘Albertine’

For a handwritten example of this name, the genus should be underlined.

An example of a trade designation is:

Rosa MARY ROSE (‘Ausmary’)

MARY ROSE is the part which is the trade designation or selling name and ‘Ausmary’ is the cultivar name.

The examiner’s comments suggest the information required for the meaning of cultivar is that it is an abbreviation of ‘cultivated variety’, it needs to be maintained by human intervention, and it could also be included that it is uniform, distinct and stable. For the example, ‘The cultivar name always begins with an uppercase letter and the name enclosed in single quotation marks’.

For trade designation, the examiner’s comments include that it is a selling name for commercial purposes, is used when the cultivar name is unsuitable, e.g. in a foreign language, and whilst a plant is being registered for Plant Breeder’s Rights. The trade designation is written in small block capitals and not in quotation marks.

 A useful source for checking accurate plant names is the RHS Plant Finder.

Other ways of writing trade designations are sometimes used. The RHS website is useful to look at. For the example given earlier, it is:

Rosa Mary Rose = ‘Ausmary’

 For part b) it is important to read the question fully and not just describe the ICNCP, but include the importance for horticulturists. The examiner’s comments state that there was often confusion with the ICNCP, Plant Breeders Rights, International  Registration Authorities and the ICN. The ICNCP is stated as being the International Rulebook for the regulation of the naming of cultivars, and includes descriptions of how names should be written.

The significance for horticulturists includes reducing confusion, e.g. for planting schemes and ordering plants, and it enables plant names to be registered.