Shop Orchid Care OrchidTalk Orchid Forum Weather Station Links Nursery

Welcome to OrchidTalk Orchid Forums


The Friendliest Orchid Community on the Internet!


  •  » Learn to Repot your Orchids
  •  » Learn Orchid Care Tips and Secrets
  •  » Find the perfect Orchid for your Growing Environment
  •  » Chat with Orchid Growing Professionals

OrchidTalk - "Bringing People Together to Grow Orchids Better!"


Let us help you grow your Orchids better; Join our community today.


YES! I want to register an account for free right now!


Register or Login now to remove this advertisement.

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 34
Like Tree2Likes

Orchid Naming for Dummies

This is a discussion on Orchid Naming for Dummies within the General Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; Or at least for newbies... since there's no such thing as a dumb newbie. ...Or ...

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #1
    Piper's Avatar
    Piper is offline Hangs
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    7,068

    Default Orchid Naming for Dummies

    Or at least for newbies... since there's no such thing as a dumb newbie....Or was that, there's no such thing as a new dumbie?

    A lot of new members have recently joined the forum, who are just starting their collections, or are looking to expand them in that compulsive-obsessive way that orchid nuts do. Moi included.

    Orchid lingo is Byzantine. Latin, actually. But just as hard to decipher as if it were from Byzantium. But it's also precise. A name can tell you A LOT about that lovely critter you're contemplating, or have just in fact purchased.

    Let's start at the top. The Family is Orchidaceae. That is, orchids. This is the easy part. Now, buckle up!

    The family breaks down into different genera (that's plural for genus) Kind of like opera and opus. No...not the penguin!

    Each genus is a group of genetically similar plants. They can, in fact, be genetically crossed through hybridization, whether or not that happens in the wild. A group of similar genera are often referred to as an alliance. Examples might include the Oncidium alliance, the Cattleya alliance, and the Phalenopsis alliance. It's hard to say how many different alliances there are, since everyone has an opinion on how some of the weirder ones are grouped, but it's safe to say there are between 1-2 dozen.

    There are hundreds of different genera, however. Lots and lots. Some alliances, like Oncidiums and Cattleyas include many genera that are so interbred (that is, the generations of subsequent hybrids cross so many genera) that they posess strange names as a genus. For example, a Potinara (abbr. Pot.) is a mixed cross from the Brassavola, Cattleya, Laelia and Sophrontis genera, all belonging to the Cattleya alliance. Yet you'll find a Pot. under the Cattleya or Catt forum, since it's from that alliance. By the way, a genus or alliance name is capitalized. Although when speaking quickly on the forum we often tend to get lazy. Here's a great Website for mapping genera and their abbreviations to their native genera: http://www.notsogreenthumb.org/orchi.../genera3.htm#P

    Within a genus, any number of species are found. A species is a genetically unique plant, and one that occurs in the wild. Depending on the genus, there may be hundreds of species plants. (The Dendrobium genus - Dend. - has over 1,600 species!) Species are pretty cool, because they are what we find in nature. If a plant is a species, such as: Phal. equestris, the genus name (as always) is capitalized and the species name is lower cap. Lower cap means cool - learn to spot it!

    Within a given species, there may be variations (typically in coloration) that are still considered part of that species. Catt. walkeriana is a great example. Note that walkeriana is a Cattleya species, because its name isn't capitalized. See how much you've learned! There is a Catt. walkeriana [with a pink to purple flower], a Catt. walkeriana var. alba [it's like an albino - all white, or white and green], a Catt. walkeriana var. semi-alba [white petals and sepals with a colored lip], and a Catt. walkeriana var. coerulea [a blue one, like it's been left too long in the cold.]

    Hybrids are made by us. They don't typically occur in nature. We think one plant's color would look really cool with a another's flower form and we play Frankenstein and make it so. In this case, Frankenstein Rules allow us to name the hybrid we've just created! So long as no one has beaten us to it. So I take a Paph. sanderianum and cross it with a Paph. rothschildianum. That becomes a Paph. Prince Edward of York. Affectionately known as a Paph. PEOY. Sorry, Sanders registered this hybrid in 1898. Go find your own creation! The hybrid name is capitalized. That tells us it's not a species. The term primary hybrid is meaningful as well. It tells us both parents were species. And species are really cool - don't forget!

    If you see the term grex, it simply means the hybrid identity. If that nifty capitalized hybrid name hasn't yet been registered (with the American Orchid Society for us in the U.S.), the cross itself is referred to. Such as: Paph. (sanderianum x rothschildianum). That happens to be a Paph. PEOY, but you may sometimes buy or see plants that list the crossing, without knowing they have a name registered to the grex.

    Ok, you're hanging in really well - just a couple of final points...

    In any plant sex, Yeah, we always save the good stuff for the end! whether species or hybrid, the offspring will vary. Just like kids! Yet, if a particular seedling from a cross grows up and flowers with exceptional form or beauty, breeders may want to capture that Kodak moment. They can divide the plant (this is slow and makes for expensive purchases) or they can clone it. This ensures an exact remake of the genetic code and consistently lovely blooms. Unless you croak the plant through neglect or improper condidtions...

    Such genetic duplicates are known as clonal varieties or cultivars. The way to identify a clonal variety is through the name. Hey, I warned you early on there was a lot to this naming thing! If it's genetically equal to another plant it's given a clonal name. Such as: Paph. Prince Edward of York 'Sunny'. The clonal name is always capitalized and found in single quotes. 'Sunny', in this case. What's important about clonal names, is that you know closely what type of growth and blooming to expect. How do you know this? I'm glad you asked, because that leads to our final point...

    Several major orchid societies throughout the world award titles to plants with exceptional form and color. The American Orchid Society uses three primary awards: HCC, AM and FCC. Increasing award value - the FCC is highest. These are always followed by the initials of the awarding body. So a superb plant might receive an FCC/AOS. The owner might think, "Hey, everyone will want one of these - I should clone it!" And they do. The tag would now read: Paph. Prince Edward of York 'Sunny' FCC/AOS. And when we see that our juices flow and we have to buy it!

    Well, there's free black coffee for all who made it this far. I'm going to offer one last example.

    I'm not picking on Veronica - in fact, I laud her gutsy lunge into our shared passion! But her post, echoed a feeling I've had from many recent ones, that the naming stuff is hard, partly because no one ever explains it. It's good to speak the same lingo so we can understand each other. Besides, armed with this knowledge, you can show off at parties!

    So let's look at Veronica's haul from the Miami Orchid Show:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrari
    She's a Dend. Waianae Profusion
    species Spatulata.
    Dend. Waianae Profusion is a hybrid, so species Spatulata doesn't make sense. 'Spatulata' would be a clonal variety, if it's listed on the tag with single quotes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrari
    I walked out with a
    Paph Delenatii
    Dend Spectabile
    Delelatii is a Paph. species. Drop the cap. Should be Paph. delenatii. Same with Dend. spectabile, another species.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrari
    Phrag. Eric Young x Grande
    Epc. Rene Marques Tyler (similar to the Plastic Doll) This one has several buds, and i'll be posting the pics soon ( hopefully)
    And also got a Compot of Blc. Hawaiian Passion
    All hybrids, I think so no problems with these. They're correctly capitalized. Veronica, note that Phrag. (Eric Young x Grande) is a grex known as Phrag. Bouley Bay. I have one - they're lovely!

    Veronica, congrats on your great purchases and I hope you don't mind my 'going to school' on your celebratory post!

    Julie
    Last edited by Piper; March 5th, 2006 at 09:47 PM.

  2. #2
    bench72's Avatar
    bench72 is offline Moderator
    Real Name
    Tim
    My Grow Area
    Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Paphiopedilums
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    5,480
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Piper
    Dend. Waianae Profusion is a hybrid, so species Spatulata doesn't make sense. 'Spatulata' would be a clonal variety, if it's listed on the tag with single quotes.
    I think this one needs clarification...sorry for being pedantic...

    I believe that Spatulata is a section of the genus Dendrobium... so what is should say is

    Dendrobium Waianae Profusion, a hybrid using species from the section Spatulata.


    cheers
    tim lower case designating species

  3. #3
    Piper's Avatar
    Piper is offline Hangs
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    7,068

    Default

    Oh thanks, tim-o! I don't know Dends that well. I appreciate the correction. Tim-O is cool, so he can claim species status!

    See - see how confusing it is! Never be afraid to ask!

    Julie

  4. #4
    WolfinKW's Avatar
    WolfinKW is offline Wolf - I bite but only when asked.
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas - - baby!
    Posts
    637

    Default

    WOW it must be said that I've never had it explained to me in such detail. I knew some of it and some of it was new or better explained to where I didn't say "screw it Wolf like pretty flower, wolf buy flower" LOL Thanks for the details Julie... hope the finger feels better.

    Wolf

  5. #5
    Ferrari's Avatar
    Ferrari is offline Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    49

    Default

    Don't mind the corrections, actually thanks! it's hard to learn all these new names, genera, species, etc. About that Dend, that's how the South Florida orchid Society has separated under species, but thanks for the clarification, everything makes a a lot more sense now!!

  6. #6
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
    Real Name
    Bruce Brown
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleyas & Slippers
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    33,829
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Hi Gang,

    Nice post, Julie! Here is some additional info from a RVO newsletter article that LJA wrote. Hope it helps!

    Cheers!
    BD

    http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/nlette...cle060104.html

  7. #7
    Piper's Avatar
    Piper is offline Hangs
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    7,068

    Default

    Oh yeah, I wanted to mention one last thing that I forgot...

    Forgot? - She's babbled far to long already - what's left?

    Note name tags - particularly when purchasing! Use your shiny new knowledge to examine the tags of plants that catch your eye.

    I've chuckled at more than one box store or grocery store plant where I've seen a tag: Paph. vini coloratum. The tag would suggest a Paph. species named' 'vini', but 'vini' is simply used to describe any dark-red variety of a Paph. Likewise, 'coloratum' is just a variety descriptor for 'colorful' - with greens and purples in paphs.

    So here, no species or hybrid is named, meaning they're selling you a NOID!

    We use the term, NOID, to mean No Identification. That is, we have no idea what the plant is. This detracts from it's value, and also greatly from our mutual enjoyment. Don't pay a lot for a NOID, unless you're crazy in love with it. Because having lost its past, you lose the joy of sharing it.

    Julie

  8. #8
    Piper's Avatar
    Piper is offline Hangs
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    7,068

    Default

    Hey, cool!

    I hadn't seen this - lots of the same stuff, plus more!
    Thanks, Bruce and Louis!

    Julie

  9. #9
    Diane's Avatar
    Diane is offline Can't Re-Member
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Catts and Paphs
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Surprise, AZ
    Posts
    6,250
    Member's Country Flag

    Question Hybrid clarification, please.....

    Okayyyyyy.... what is the difference between a roth x sand (pardon the abbreviations) and a sand x roth? Does the difference between pod parent change the name of the end results?

    (I have seen PEOYs marked roth x sand, and other plants with no "Grex" marked sand x roth)

  10. #10
    bench72's Avatar
    bench72 is offline Moderator
    Real Name
    Tim
    My Grow Area
    Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Paphiopedilums
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    5,480
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    I re-read this post and it's amazing how well it's written!!! You really should think about being a writer Julie

    It's so easy to follow!

    Now, if we can get you to write stuff about orchids... and Nelson to take pics... ooooh yeah... I can see them dollars for more orchids streaming in now!!!

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Grammatophyllum for dummies.
    By nabakov5 in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: May 15th, 2007, 05:38 PM
  2. Orchid naming mess
    By Diane in forum Genus Specific
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: July 31st, 2006, 11:58 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
OrchidTalk --An Orchid Growers Discussion Forum brought to you by River Valley Orchidworks. A World Community where orchid beginners and experts talk about orchids and share tips on their care, cultivation, and propagation.