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Author Topic: GREX names  (Read 1330 times)

ptallbo

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GREX names
« on: March 14, 2021, 05:09:25 PM »
Hello!

Any grower of Cypripedium and other orchids here?

Just did see a post form M Weinart about a seedling they named Cypripedium Henric , since this it an orchid it seem ok to sell all the seedlings under that name even if some might be in different colour and shape,size or whatever as long as it is a GREX raised from seed. I asked him how it came that it not needed to be divided in divisions to be ok to use that name, that you can not name a bunch of seedlings Henric that have so many different shapes. But he reffered to GREX. So is it someone here that also grow these species from seeds that can explain this in a better way and why should orchids not follow the common rules about naming and selling cutlivars.

Peter Tallbo
Why give seedlings a cultivar name? This will in the future make huge problems when all these plants are spread around and labels lost and different colours, shape and so on, of them occur. To give a plant a cultivar name it need to be a specific plant and only allowed to use that name on divisions??

Michael Weinert
Hi Peter, For orchid hybrids it is different. It is not a cultivar name, it is a grex name. Grexes are hybrid seedlings of similar appearance. I know about the difficulties, but nomenclature is hardly worth discussing. It is always making a round thing square and trying to put complexity of nature into rules.
The grex names are registered at the RHS.

Maggi Young

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Re: GREX names
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2021, 08:15:09 PM »
Naming of plants is less a science, more  a "dark art" - in the  opinion of a great many people!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grex_(horticulture)
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Tim Harberd

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Re: GREX names
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2021, 09:51:04 PM »
Hi Peter,
   It takes a long time to get orchid seedlings to flower.

   If a breeder has made a promising new cross, they might have a lot of seedlings, but only have the capacity to raise a proportion of them to flowering.

   Once a breeder has chosen the best of the crop, it will take years to multiply up the best plant, and market it. So the eventual buyers will have to wait longer and pay more.

   SO: Breeders may offer un-flowered seedlings. The breeder gets some early return on their efforts and the buyer gets a lottery ticket.

   OR: The breeder may offer flowered seedlings, which are almost as good as the best seedling, but a fraction of the cost.

   In both of these scenarios, the breeder is selling ‘spares’. Names are reserved for the special ones.

   IF you know the grex of a seedling you can make an educated guess as to whether you are likely to be interested in the progeny.


   In the case you site, Cyprepedium Henric, it is a primary hybrid (between two species).So in this instance you are sort of dealing with an F1. Therefor I wouldn’t expect a lot of variability. If you like it, buy one now and don't wait ten years for someone to release C. Henric 'The Special One'.

Hope that’s helpful


Tim DH

Anders

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Re: GREX names
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2021, 04:25:22 PM »
Hi Peter

I think this is how it works. If you know the registered grex name, you can always trace the parentage. Pleione Jorullo gx is the grex P. limprichtii x P. bulbocodioides. A grex can also be between a species and a hybrid or between two hybrids. The grex name should in principle be followed by gx. Specific clones of a grex can have a cultivar name so the cultivars Locking Stumps and Long Tailed Tit are Pleione Jorullo gx 'Locking Stumps' and Pleione Jorullo gx 'Long Tailed Tit'. 

Anders

PS Last year I bought a Cypripedium Henric (not from Weinert), it turned out to be Cypripedium henryi  :-)
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 04:34:56 PM by Anders »

ptallbo

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Re: GREX names
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2021, 05:44:14 PM »
Thank you for answers. I am not new into this with growing plants and how things work. :)

As soon you name something with a specifix name, in this case Henric, then you have made the template for that plant. These are the rules, if you buy a tomato, appletree, what ever that has a specific name it follows the rules from that first plant. And thats the reason so many plants today have a "Trademark" that do not allow you to grow them on your self and sell them without paying the ones the owning the trademark. In this case with the grex you have to name the plant Henric gx  to follow the naming standard of grex,  , in this case the rules are not followed. Just as Anders is writing. This means that the normal buyer do not care about which species/hybrids or whatever are involved in making this named plant, they buy a Henric. When I next time visit my friends garden that has one Henric too but it is light pink, then Ill tell him thats not a Henric it is much darker. If then the gx are included in the name, then it is obvious what it is and explains why they are different. It is also a way to cheat on buyers that think they buy a plant that look specific and it will be easy to by new ones.



SteveC2

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Re: GREX names
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2021, 10:42:55 AM »
I can’t help thinking that you are coming at this from a very different angle to most orchid growers, especially the “serious” ones.  I have found that AGS showers are far less religious about “correct” names and labelling than orchid shows.  God forbid you use capitals in the wrong place at an Orchid show.   You talk about “rules” but orchid growers have very strict rules about naming, which are no less valid than others and part of the problem is that with increasing popularity of orchids, particularly cypripediums, people not familiar with the rules are buying plants. Using words like cheating seems very unfair to me as the system has been in place since the 19th century. The grex name is a really useful piece of information, which is available for most orchid crosses as they are man made. It lets you know the parentage and with cypripedium, for instance, I know to avoid any grew with montanum in the breeding as they do not like our hot summers.Cultivar names are also given to some plants, as with many Pleione, and I have problems when people stop using the grex.  You think it is a new hybrid but instead it is just a trade name. At least I can look it up on the RHS list.   Cultivar names are a far bigger mystery to me, often given to random finds, with no knowledge of parents, to plants not really any different to other cultivars, and then people start selling seedlings, not divisions of plants. 

ptallbo

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Re: GREX names
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2021, 01:46:05 PM »
Yes getting into this as normal gardener that want to know what I am growing in my garden. Buying something named Henric in my world will be the same plants and the same looking plant if I buy another Henric 3 years later. In this case with Henric it might be a slightly problem since it is not sure you will find a plant that looks the same as the one you have since they are sold as seedlings from that grex. It is this point that I am meaning that if you as a grower refuse to add gx/grex to the name, as the rules are saying,  it is cheating the buyers since they are buying a Henric with a specific look and might get something looking different. Only using the Henric together with gx/grex makes it clear it can be differences in the plant. Using Henric should be new plants from cloning or divisions. As a normal buyer you are not supposed to know where to look to find out if it is a grex or so. Comment from the grower saying that it looks bad in the catalogs and that people do not understand what grex is, sounds like following rules are not that important.

aldo

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Re: GREX names
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2021, 06:40:00 PM »
I think you are confusing the grex name (or, also, the species name) with the clonal name. Also for tomatoes, if you want an Ivory Egg, you don't have to buy a Solanum lycopersicum (or Lycopersicon esculentum), species name, but a Solanum lycopersicum 'Ivory Egg', clonal name

ptallbo

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Re: GREX names
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2021, 05:43:24 PM »
Yes but in this case if you buy a Henric today and another tomorrow it might not be the same looking plant. So no I am not confused, only confused how a well known grower just do not care about naming it by the rules. If I want to buy a plant named Henric then I assume that all plants I buy will be looking the same, not getting one with pink flowers and the other with light pink flowers. I am not new into growing plants .....

GordonT

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Re: GREX names
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2021, 07:44:57 PM »
There are several reasons why a particular grex can produce plants with widely differing traits. For instance, Cypripedium Ulla Silkens is a primary hybrid between Cypripedium reginae,and Cypripedium flavum. All plants from any cross between these two species are Cyp. Ulla Silkens.  Since alba forms of both species exist, these could be used to make the same cross. The resulting seedlings from this cross will look very different from a seedling of the same cross which used dark colour forms of Cypripedium reginae and Cypripedium flavum. The first cross (using alba plants) is likely to be pure white, or very pale yellow, while the cross using dark coloured varieties will probably have plenty of rose pink in the lip. Both plants are still Cypripedium Ulla Silkens.

What ought to happen,is that specific colour forms of a hybrid needs a clonal name as well... so you might eventually be able to purchase plants of Cyp.Ulla Silkens 'Ghost', or Cyp. Ulla Silkens 'Ruby Toes' (these are fictional clonal names made up by me, for the sake of argument). You would then know full well what they will eventually look like in your garden. I think the catch with Cypripediums is that in vitro propagation of clonal varieties from explants is a relatively new process.

I was a bit disappointed to see that a particular clone of Cypripedium Sebastian is being sold without its grex name as well, instead being listed as Cyp 'Frosch's Mountain King' when by standard practice, it ought to appear as Cyp Sebastian 'Frosch's Mountain King'
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aldo

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Re: GREX names
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2021, 07:03:08 PM »
If today you buy a Cypripedium Henric from seed, not a clone, you know you are buying a cypripedium hybrid, like all hybrids you know it can look like one or the other of the parents. It's the nature.

sjusovare

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Re: GREX names
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2022, 09:35:28 PM »
I know this is an old post, but I just stumbled upon it.

I think the important point to considere is that we are talking of crosses between 2 different species (in orchids that's a GREX), and not just crosses between different cultivars of the same species (as for example tulips or tomatos), basically with orchids the grex name gives you the parentage of the plant, and then the cultivar name will give you its specific characteristics.
The problem stems on the fact that the word "grex" has several uses depending on whether we are discussing botany as a science or horticulture as a trade (and for some reasons, orchid trade nomenclature follows the voodoo of botany and not the commercial rules, hence why some intergeneric hybrids change of names every other week.. with some of my plants I lost track of what their current grex name might be because I grew tired of ever changing the labels at each reclassification, the cultivar name remains unchanged though).

When you cross 2 species of orchids together (or 2 previous grexes), you create a new grex, and inside this grex you might select some cultivars.
For example, Pleione Ueli Wackernagel is the grex resulting of the cross between 2 species, Pln formosana and Pln aurita, all the plants with that parentage formula will be called "Ueli Wackernagel".
Then, among all the siblings of this cross, some will be almost white and others pink, the pale ones have received a cultivar name, "Pearl", so when you get a Pln Ueli Wackernagel "Pearl", you know that it is a cross between formosana and aurita, and that the flowers are white or almost white, it's actually pretty useful and makes it easy to trace the lineage of a plant just by its name without having to search among all the different sibling forms which one it could possibly be.
As Steve mentionned, it gets pretty messy when people stop using the grex name and only use the cultivar name (or worse, just invent new names for the clone they have and forget to mention the grex), if someone sells me a "Pleione Pearl", I have no clue what that is, is it the formosana x aurita cross or something else?

I don't find diversity among a grex problematic, it is not a trademark precisely, so the idea of "when I buy a name it is always the same" is irrelevant, even with apples or tomatoes, when you buy a botanic plant, you will find it's different from another from the same batch, at the difference of trademarked clones or graftings (basically clones as well), which are all identical, and in case of diseases, all sensitive to the same pathogens, hence how we lost half the world banana production in a few years. Orchid hybridation remains one of the last horticultural domain where  pretty much everyone can contribute and participate if they want, while all the other fields have become the property of a few professionals.
For all the reasons others have mentionned earlier, there is no selection done for most of the plants grown from seeds, like the cyps from Werner Frosh. The only way to have uniformity in a grex would be to select only one individual from a seedling batch, then clone it and throw all the others, whcih is economically unsustainable (would need an industrial scale that would need much more potential buyers for each plant), and for some genus is not even technically possible (cypripediums and paphiopedilums for exemple are refractory to meristem cloning so far).

At the opposite, what bothers me is that mass produced clones, such as those phals or cymbidiums sold in supermarket and garden centers, are issued from selected plants, and should have cultivar names, but then, considering the commercial target, breeders usually don't bother naming them, they don't even bother giving the grex name so we can't know the parentage (which makes those plants totally useless when it comes to further hybridation)
« Last Edit: March 11, 2022, 10:13:58 PM by sjusovare »
Julien

 


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