Thread 1: What is a ‘grex’ and what would be the purpose of a ‘grex registry’?
A ‘hybrid’ is a crossing of two different species plants. Natural hybrids are those species crosses that occur as the result of some act of nature. A horticultural hybrid is a species (or hybrid) crossed to another species (or hybrid) by the willful (or accidental) act of a grower.
A ‘grex’ is all the seedlings that result from a hybrid cross. A ‘grex record’ is a documentation of heritage or pedigree.
Why would we want to start recording greges? What would be the purpose of a grex registry?
Lineage is important to Nepenthes growers, both breeders and collectors. Grex registry and naming is a method of defining the lineage of a plant, including those that may not be of cultivar status. Grex naming should work in concert with cultivar naming, using a system similar, but not identical, to the system currently used by orchid growers/breeders.
Could you give an example of a grex name? And more importantly, what are the requirements for listing the parents of a particular grex? Can one or more of the parents be required to be a particular cultivar but not the other?
I think a grex registry is desirable for several reasons:
1. It is obviously interesting and important (fundamental information) for nepenthes growers and breeders. The more you know about your plants the better the judgments you make with regarding to raising and breeding them.
2. Why catalog nature? Some would argue that it is important to catalog in detail, in order to better understand, species and natural hybrids but consider man-made hybrids to be somehow 'non-natural' or 'artificial' life forms not deserving of the same sort of scientific detail. I think this is clearly wrong (and would love to argue the point with anyone interested).
3. I think the establishment of a 'grex registry' would be the responsible thing for today's growers and breeders to do. There will always be 'mavericks' and 'rogues' who will just do whatever is easiest for them and the world will survive but I believe that when you create these new plants they become a legacy to future generations and with that comes a certain degree of responsibility. If the breeders of today do not record their data they deprive their children of significant knowledge in the future. The world of nepenthes cultivation is still small enough that it is not too difficult to develop a cogent system of record keeping. If we all go our own ways it may be convenient for us individually but imagine the poor grower 50 years from now trying to bring order and understanding to the 100's of 'mutts and strays' that comprise his collection.
4. A registry would be good business. Those producing quality plants want to protect their interest in them. A grex registry would offer no legal protection but would lend a degree of legitimatacy to the work breeders have done.
I would like to move on to some other issues of cultivar registry but it seems that we are still not clear on what a grex registry is. ,,,,,,
WHEN sunbelle ...You believe that a cross (primary, secondary, natural hybrid remakes and horticultural breed species) should be germinated and then raised to a point where “the majority of plants are starting to show their ‘true color’”. ep ..... you believe roughly the same thing in that the seedlings from a grex should be grown to a point where a ‘typical’ specimen’ can be determined.
I believe that plants should be grown beyond seedling stage. (minimum of 3 yrs.) to insure that registry is not wasted on plants that will not survive in the long term.
WHAT sunbelle .... You believe that grex seedling should then be judged by the breeder to be ‘worthy’ (full of ‘wow” factor) and considered deserving of having their heritage recorded by being registered with a new sex respective grex name ep ..... You believe that a grex would be judged by the breeder (or some group) as deserving of a sex respective grex name if it were a primary hybrid. (You feel that secondary or more complex crosses do not produce a ‘typical specimen’ and therefore should not be registered?)
I believe that you are both interpreting a grex registry in the same way, i.e., as an honorarium similar to cultivar registration. A plant is judged by the breeder to be beautiful and of potential market value and is registered and given a grex name in order to better secure that breeder’s interest in the plant as a product.
HOW sunbelle ... Registration would require names, dates, etc and the names of both parent plants. You would also require a picture(s) and description of a ‘true color’ specimen of the grex. ep ..... You would require names, dates, etc. and the names of both parent plants. You would also require a picture of a ‘typical’ grex specimen
You both appear to be thinking much more along the lines of a Cultivar-Group registry than a grex registry. Your emphasis is on showing how the grex specimens are different from all other plants (the function of a cultivar registry or a cultivar-group registry) and not how they are related to other plants by lineage (the purpose of a grex registry). I think that if we are going to have a grex registry it should be at the desecration of the breeder whether to register a plant or not but that there should be no restrictions other than survivability upon a set of plants having its lineage recorded and accordingly given a grex name. That since the purpose of a registry is to document lineage that the names , dates, etc., and the names of both parent plants should be supplied along with some level of description of those parent plants and perhaps pictures.
I think it is perhaps time we skip ahead to Topic II, Thread 3, ‘Cultivar-Groups’ and examine this concept in the light of your expressed purposes of registry.
Firstly it would be good to get some other opinions into this discussion. Leilani, again you are not really understanding properly. We are for a grex registration with cultivars being able to be selected from a grex and registered seperately. I suggested that it be a good idea to regsiter primary hybrids but did not see the necessity of registering complex hybrids(more than 2 parents) but was not opposed to the idea. We are against cultivar groups, as detailed in that thread. We are really trying to suggest a solution to this process that is simple and concise that most will use. That is why we are trying to keep away from the detailed descriptions etc. The process we use in our nursery is similar to this and it has worked for over 14 years. If you or others are seeing fallability in this method please explain what you see. Thanks.
Some of the people who indicated that they would participate have so far remained quiet. I hope that we will be able to summarize some of these topics in the next few weeks. I will be in contact with these reluctant participants by then and will do my best to make sure they comment upon these summaries. ___________________________________________________________
We are for a grex registration with cultivars being able to be selected from a grex and registered seperately. I suggested that it be a good idea to regsiter primary hybrids but did not see the necessity of registering complex hybrids(more than 2 parents) but was not opposed to the idea. We are against cultivar groups, as detailed in that thread. We are really trying to suggest a solution to this process that is simple and concise that most will use. That is why we are trying to keep away from the detailed descriptions etc”
Bob’s your uncle!
I have no problem with your or any other nurseries' practices. You seem to have done an excellent job with a monumental amount of work.
(My only problem is that since I record my plants under either species or maternal parent I don’t know what to do with “Sabre”!)
"The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones ..." John Maynard Keynes
Leilani, list 'Sabre' under "S" in your photos... and that shouldn't be a worry on your mind.
Did you see on the cp digest Barry Rice made some "hot air" comment regarding this conference. It's too bad that no one else will participate. Jan Schlauer wrote a reply to Barry, and has indicated he has been reading these threads and brought up some interesting points.
I don't agree 100% that the grex naming should be for lineage, as Dr. Schlauer has suggested. The scale of the new hybrids isn't fully understood.
Regardless of "official" rules, grex naming will be determined by the breeders who are naming the plants.
Exotica has been groundbreaking in making hybrids and naming them. The only problem that sometimes occurs is confusion between an individual plant and a seedling in a grex. Other than that, Exotica had been leading the way towards a simple and easily understood system.
Leilani wants a system that mirrors a scientific description of a species. Leilani wants to be able to give an id to a plant based on the description and or photo, which is NOT the primary function of the registry. As far as the purpose of changing the hybrid naming system, Leilani has never answered the root question of "why?". A registry of man made hybrids should NOT be like cataloging nature, although I think that's what Leilani wants.... which is why we think you don't understand what we're trying to suggest.
We would like a reference of hybrids made, much like what the RHS does for orchids. There is no description of the orchid hybrid, there is no representative of the cross being pictured, it's all names and dates. If an orchid breeder wants to know how a species is used in breeding, he needs to do his homework, perhaps read a book, and learn through experience. This isn't exactly what we want for Nepenthes, but we also are not interested in detailed descriptions of every form of a "ventriboring" hybrid.
We're still going to post Lauffenburgers list, and everyone will see how problematic organizing Nepenthes hybrids in an orchid-like system will become.
If this conference were taking place 100 years ago, then, we might be able to unify a system with grex names or primary cross names between the main hybridizers. Since there have been so many different ways of naming Nepenthes hybrids, and so many duplicate names for the same hybrid, it is too complex to start from scratch now.
The main problem is that right now, according to the official rules, grex names like Predator aren't officially recognized. There will be another generation of Nepenthes breeding using the "unofficially named" Nep hybrids as parents, adding more confusion.
Message: 1 Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2006 13:10:13 -0800 From: "Barry Rice" <email@example.com> Subject: [CP] Nepenthes grex stuff To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Message-ID: <email@example.com> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Does anyone know what the products are from the online Nepenthes grex meeting? Did something come out of this that was real, or was it just a bunch of hot air. It would be cool if there was a real, solid product from this. Were many people participating? Looking at the discussion board, I just see the same set of names.
Barry A. Rice, Ph.D. Carnivorous Plant Newsletter, Coeditor The International Carnivorous Plant Society www.carnivorousplants.org <http://www.carnivorousplants.org/>
Message: 5 Date: Fri, 03 Nov 2006 09:32:57 +0800 From: Hans Breuer <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: [CP] Nepenthes grex stuff To: Carnivorous Plant Discussion group <email@example.com> Message-ID: <454A9C49.firstname.lastname@example.org> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
ask Leilani, he's the initiator. Also, I think the discussion isn't over yet, as there are a few topics left. Participants might be few, but they're sure qualified :-)
Message: 9 Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2006 20:51:19 +0100 From: "Priv.-Doz. Dr. Jan Schlauer" <email@example.com> Subject: Re: [CP] Nepenthes grex stuff To: Carnivorous Plant Discussion group <firstname.lastname@example.org> Message-ID: <9A94FB74-1330-4778-BA8E-C41753FCC606@uni-tuebingen.de> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; delsp=yes; format=flowed
> Does anyone know what the products are from the online Nepenthes grex > meeting? Did something come out of this that was real, or was it > just a > bunch of hot air. It would be cool if there was a real, solid > product from > this. Were many people participating? Looking at the discussion > board, I > just see the same set of names.
Unfortunately, the conference lacks focus so far. It is not restricted to sorting out issues about grex naming and registration but it discusses issues that are extensively ruled and detailed by the ICNCP already.
Some participants have obviously only faint ideas about the content of the ICNCP and/or the International Register of cultivated carnivorous plants.
While I do not see any important idea from the conference to improve cultivar or Group naming and registration (apart from the possible decision to abandon Group naming in _Nepenthes_ in order to implement grex nomenclature in this genus and to avoid confusion with existing Group names that are apparently not widely used in _Nepenthes_), some useful suggestions have been made towards implementation of grex nomenclature (most messages in conference).
It is, however, important to stress the fact that nomenclatural priority does not imply any legal protection (some breeders tend to think a grex name would have an effect similar to patents or trademarks, which is NOT the case).
Grex nomenclature is a way to record lineages. If the lines used to breed a grex are identified in sufficient detail, a grex name can be more precise than just a taxonomic hybrid formula. In most cases, however, grex names are just an abbreviated, standardized hybrid formula, not providing any additional information (it is admissible to register a grex name with just the species names of the parents as input data).
Some conference participants tend to think a grex would give any indication of or guarantee on the appearance or quality of the plants belonging to it. This is true only as far as the genetical *origins* of the respective plants are concerned. Like all populations of living organisms, also greges are subject to variation and mutation, so diversity increases with time in a grex just like in an exclusively vegetatively reproducing taxon (cloning is the only admissible method of propagation in a grex). As soon as some *observable property* (genotypic or phenotypic) is used to define an entity of cultivated plants, we are by definition returning to the cultivar/Group concept that has nothing in common with greges. This has only partially been sorted out in the conference so far.
I have contacted Dr. Rice and hopefully he will make his presence know here on the forum later in the month as we try to summarize discussion.
I very happy to see that Dr. Schlauer is monitoring our talks and I would suggest that participants read very carefully over his comments. He has impeccable knowledge of the subject matter, is clear and concise in his presentation and argument and is willing to help. I will be asking Dr. Schlauer to join us on this forum later this month to help us format our recommendations in the manner most likely to be considered for implementation.
"The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones ..." John Maynard Keynes
Thanks for posting that thread Trent. Firstly I will state that I still have confusion surrounding this grex and cultivar/ cultivar group naming and again I think that it is great what is trying to be sorted out for this unique genus by all involved. However what I really don't understand is how the people that are in charge of a registering body for these plants can sit back and say that there has been a lot of hot air and confusion and not come forward to help? They must know that the system that is in place is unsuitable for this genus yet have not tried to modify it, to my knowledge. To see this, one has only to log on and look at the list of mostly registered and undescribed and unphotographed plants listed as cultivar. According to the ICNCP ruling, this list actually seems mostly in contradiction to what a cultivar actually is as there are a mostly single plants called cultivar on this list. Anyway, having said that, I have looked up some definitions and detailed them below so that we may all be of the same understanding of these sometimes confusing botanical terms.
What is a cultivar?
Article 2.1 of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants states that a cultivar is the "primary category of cultivated plants whose nomenclature is governed by this Code." and defines a cultivar as "an assemblage of plants that has been selected for a particular attribute or combination of attributes, and that is clearly distinct, uniform and stable in its characteristics and that, when propagated by appropriate means, retains those characteristics" (Art. 2.2). and also: From the ICNCP web site: A single plant is not a cultivar: a cultivar is a group of individual plants which collectively is distinct from any other, which is uniform in its overall appearance and which remains stable in its attributes. Do not attempt to name a cultivar until you have a number of individuals that are uniform and stable. and also: A cultivar is a particular variety of a plant species or hybrid that is being cultivated and/or is recognised as a cultivar under the ICNCP. The concept of cultivar is driven by pragmatism, and serves the practical needs of horticulture, agriculture, forestry, etc.
There is not necessarily a relationship between any cultivar and any particular genome. The ICNCP emphasizes that different cultivated plants may be accepted as different cultivars, even if they have the same genome, while cultivated plants with different genomes may be a single cultivar. In some cultivars, the human involvement was limited to making a selection among plants growing in the wild. Other cultivars are strictly artificial: the plants must be made anew every time, as in the case of an F1 hybrid between two plant lines. It is not required that a cultivar can reproduce itself. The "appropriate means of propagation" vary from cultivar to cultivar. This may range from propagation by seed which was the result of natural pollination to laboratory propagation. Many cultivars are clones propagated by cuttings, grafting, etc.
What is a cultivar group?
Under the ICNCP, a cultivar group is a gathering of cultivars. There may be several reasons to designate a group, for example a group of yellow-flowering cultivars, a group of cultivars with variegated leaves, a group of cultivars resistant to a particular disease, etc. A cultivar may belong to more than one Group (it may be yellow-flowering, with variegated leaves and resistant to the disease at one and the same time).
ICNCP Art 9 Ex 10: "Solanum tuberosum 'Desiree' may be designated part of a Maincrop Group and a Redskin Group since both such designations may be practical to buyers of potatoes ..."
What is a grex?
grex - All siblings of the same seed cross.
Therefore, as I understand it now and please excuse any of my ignorance of terminology before and please enlighten me if I am still misunderstanding. Hope this helps.
In an example of say a crossing with N.truncata and N.hamata.
All the resultant seedlings of this cross are called a grex. Greges(plural of grex) are not usually named and are to do with knowing the lineage of the siblings.
The cultivar, as we have named them, N.Predator.
Not that we have, but if we had all the seedlings still and had grown them out and selected groups of individuals that looked similar to each other but different from the other groups we also selected, these would be known as cultivar groups.
The confusion and the issue, IMO, with this nomenclature is that as long as there is no distinct difference in the cultivar, irrespective of the grex or lineage, then all these plants can be called N.Predator. That is if we or anyone else were to cross any Nepenthes, say N.tentaculata x (N.maxima x xtrusmadiensis) and produce a grex and the resultant plants looked similar to N.Predator then they also could be called N.Predator! This really is confusing if you are a collector and think you are buying N.truncata x hamata but as I understand it, this is not what a cultivar is aimed at. It is more aimed at plant marketing using unique differences. I think that this discussion has been trying to unite two systems here, Cultivar and grex. I don't see any problems with uniting the systems and there probably would be a lot less confusion in all areas. However my understanding may still be lacking and perhaps some ammendments in the existing system would be better. Another point that seems confusing though, is the terms cultivar and cultivar group. I would assume that they are back to front. Shouldn't the cultivar group be all the plants from a grex, for example and the cultivar be single or more plants picked out of the group for cultivar status? In fact the ICPS has many plants listed on their data base as single cultivar, yet the ICNCP definitions above state that a cultivar cannot be a single plant! To confuse the issue further, as can be seen on the sample forms for cultivar registration on the ICPS web site, the form states exactly the opposite of the ICNCP ruling. That is that a single plant can be selected from a cultivar group and be named a cultivar. The way I think it should be done but contradictory to international rules. i.e. "The cultivar name of a plant which is a member of a cultivar-group is properly given by including the cultivar-group name in parentheses before or after the cultivar epithet.
I exchanged emails with Barry and he said that he has read some of the discussions but that since he is not a breeder he had nothing to add at this point. He was speaking very casually in the post and I don’t think we should read too much into such casual remarks .Barry is not really involved in the registration process..... that would be Dr. Schlauer
Your example highlights a problem that I know has been bothering sunbelle.
I assume that you would like to see just the best seedlings of the grex (N. truncata x hamata) EP01 called ‘Predator’ and you don’t want the less desirable seedlings from the same cross to carry that name. (This is what sunbelle would like to be able to do.) This is not how a grex name generally functions but, under the existing rules, there are several ways that this might be accomplished:
1) You select a plant from among those seedling with the qualities you consider desirable and you register it as the cultivar N. ‘Predator’ by providing a description just strict enough that the similar desirable seedlings also fit the description but the less desirable do not. Since, for the purposes of registry, a plant only exists by way of it’s description any other plant that fits that description can also be called N. ‘Predator’.
(N. truncata x hamata) EP01 ‘Predator’ EP05
2) You name the grex ‘Predator’. You select desirable but non-typical specimens in the grex and give them cultivar names, e.g., N. ‘Green Predator’. Then you dispose of all undesirable siblings you don’t want sold as N. Predator.
N. Predator (N. truncata x hamata) EP01 N. Predator (N. truncata x hamata) EP01 ‘Green Predator’ EP05
3) You register the grex without a name. You then give a ‘sales name’ to the desirable specimens from the grex.It is then up to the breeder or seller which plants get sold under this name. (Sales names appear in a different type face and can be changed at the discretion of the breeder or sales agent for marketing purposes.) Sales names make no reference to any description whatsoever but are simply a tool for marketing.
(N. truncata x hamata) EP01 PREDATOR
4) You establish a ‘Predator Group’ by first registering a desirable cultivar from the grex and then define your group in relation to that cultivar. Any plant that then looked enough like N. ‘Predator’ would be part of the Predator Group.
(N. truncata x hamata) EP01 ‘Green Predator’ EP05 (Predator Group)
However, this would also allow for
(N. tentaculata x(N. maxiam xx trusmadiensis)) SB04 ‘Dollly’ SB07 (Predator Group)
I don't know how you made that assumption from what I wrote. I never mentioned anything about only selecting the best seedlings. We never discard any plants. Also, as I wrote you cannot, according to the ICNCP, select a single plant as a cultivar, as the ICPS has done in their registration. As they are the nominated IRA, that issue should be sorted out first before we have a hope of pursuing this forum any further. I hope this is clearer. EP
I think we understand the confusion. The ICNCP uses the phrase 'single plant' meaning that there is only one plant that exists. If you have cuttings of the same plant, it is no longer a 'single plant.' Cultivar naming is done in every other plant group, not just cp's, but also Roses, Hibiscus, Tulips, everything! Even orchids give a 'variety' name. A cultivar is one unique individual, but must have other plants vegatatively propagated from this one individual clone "Many cultivars are clones propagated by cuttings, grafting, etc."
I can unsderstand this rule for several reasons. If I have a Hibiscus cultivar, other grafts must exist of the same variety to ensure that the cultivar survives. If only one plant exists of a cultivar, and that plant dies, the cultivar dies. Where as the cultivar will continue to be in cultivation if there are several clones of the same variety. This can be in tissue culture, cuttings, grafting, mericloning, etc. There is no point in giving a cultivar name if only one person has the plant. These names are a way for people to communicate with each other.
EP stated here: "The confusion and the issue, IMO, with this nomenclature is that as long as there is no distinct difference in the cultivar, irrespective of the grex or lineage, then all these plants can be called N.Predator. That is if we or anyone else were to cross any Nepenthes, say N.tentaculata x (N.maxima x xtrusmadiensis) and produce a grex and the resultant plants looked similar to N.Predator then they also could be called N.Predator! This really is confusing if you are a collector and think you are buying N.truncata x hamata..."
The answer to this is: Only give cultivar names to disctinctive plants. If all of the Predator seedlings were identical, and the description could match any of the seedlings, then yes, you could give the name as a cultivar. Look at Sarracenia leucophylla 'Hurricane Creek White'- That cultivar name can be given to any white and green S.leucophylla as long as it matches the description. Nepenthes are different because they can be either male or female, thus eliminating a good portion of the seedlings from being the same cultivar. Geoff, Predator is not a cultivar, it is a grex name.
Hopefully Michelle has added some clarity to the subject. Here's some more: defining a cultivar: "an assemblage of plants that has been selected for a particular attribute or combination of attributes, and that is clearly distinct, uniform and stable in its characteristics and that, when propagated by appropriate means, retains those characteristics" (Art. 2.2).
This definition does not distinguish a genetic difference among the plants being described as a cultivar, whereas we Nepenthes breeders would like to see them as being genetically the same individual propagated by vegetative methods (mericlone or cutting). A cultivar, for our purposes, is one individual plant that has been propagated vegetatively. Perhaps this is the single most important area of cultivar description that really needs amending for the purposes of the Nepenthes breeder. This would work hand in hand with the grex recognition purposes. Our proposal for grex recognition (and registration) works two fold: lineage documentation and quality recognition. We believe a grex should only be named when an assemblage of siblings display outstanding characteristics for the most part(there will always be a percentage that will not be up to par, but they still carry the name because of lineage -they are still siblings to the others), otherwise the grex is registered in the (a x b) format. Leilani devised an excellent formula for grex registration which includes originator and dates. Deciding which greges to name is at the discretion of the breeder/originator, but a set of guidelines should be established. We have suggested some of these guidelines elsewhere in these discussions. We do not like the cultivar group naming because it may function contrary to the lineage documentation. EP's example of the Predator look- a- like is exactly what we would want to avoid: they may look similar, but lineage is different, and thus should be given different grex names-or different registries if the (a x b) formula is used.
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