brom registering

dooleybugs01June 5, 2010

Hi All,

this topic may be a bit controversial but i was wanting opinion's on this subject.

I was wanting to know what people think of hybrid's leaving a breeder's home for sale and not being registered. I think Hybridizers have a moral obligation to do this. I am seeing a lot of broms going around with only the parentage on the label particularly from nurseries. To me if the hybridizer is not going to register a plant they do not think it is good enough to go to the trouble of registering it and do not know where the bin is.

If these broms get around with only the parentage on the label people will end up calling it what they want. They will look up the cross on the fcbs and if they find it will put the name that best fits.

Maybe there are other reasons why hybridizers do not register and that is why i have started this discussion.


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allan4519(10a, Northern NSW Australia)

dooleybugs01, u r playing with fire with this topic? lol

I produce about say 200 flowering seedlings a year and do not bother to register any of them as what is the point?

Generalizing from myself, many people who like to hybridize want to make a buk ($) out of their efforts.

Hobby hybridizers know, many customers work on the assumption that what they are buying ie a registered plant. Is some standard of;
3.& some understanding of parentage.
Also if a hybridizers name comes up in reference to many hybrids named?
Then this implies that the breeder has some understanding of what they are doing????

From what I see many new hybrids look so similar that as well as
I find there is a lot of stuff out there that looks the same (no one can tell the difference) & goes under different names. There is a hell of a lot of crap out there with registered names.

I am sure that I would not be the first person to have lost a seed parentage label before? hence have some unnamed seedlings in my plant house ( predominantly breed species &/or primary hybrids).

Im all in favour of charging a fee on all new hybrids say $25.00us for;
1. To make hybridizers impose some standard on their products i.e. if you have to pay $25us each time you register a plant then am sure most hybridizers would not register 15 out of 20 seedlings they grow.
2. This would reduce the amount work the hybrid registry would have to do & some self imposed standard would appear.
3. The hybridizer with the most registered names would get some implied status. At a cost?

What do you think?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 6:09AM
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I like registered plants; I have a reasonable idea of what I'll end up with if I order it from the other side of the country (if it is labelled correctly).

I like registered plants; I can use them to research how some of my crosses may turn out.

I don't like registered plants; when they come out of the same grex, look similar and clog the registry up with a hundred differant names that I may have wanted to use.

I don't like unregistered plants that get distributed under a name that gets widely accepted then registered with duplicate names - one by hybridizer a and one from b.

I like making crosses that can be used by family and friends - they may not be unique enough to register but surely not all should be composted!

Some thoughts,


    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 6:31AM
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Registered or not....The Ebay sellers and nurseries routinely change the names anyway so....why bother to register anything...its long been out of late to put a lid on this can of worms. Atleast with the parentage on the tag you have some idea of what the plant could do.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 7:16AM
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paul_t23(Coastal Sydney)

Rick, your thoughts all seem like good ones to me and Allan, that's a good can of petrol to throw on the fire!

Dooley, possibly the underlying problem is that there doesn't seem to be much practical agreement on what the purpose is for registering a name. Until that happens, it seems unlikely that there will be any agreement on what should be registered.

To me, for the real "hero" plants that represent a major development or an exceptional combination of characters for the group of plants as a whole, certainly registration seems like a good idea and probably with Allan's fee included. After all, plants like this will command serious prices.

HDD's comment about parent formulas seems pretty good, but apart from the real "heros", I guess I find it difficult to get too hung up about names and even formulas with complex hybrids that result from breeding backwards and forwards within a group of plants, eg. a lot of Neos and probably some others as well. With all of the genetic re-shuffling involved, siblings from the same batch of seed could well end up being more physically and genetically different from each other than than they are from some seedlings from different parents.

What is the value in a formula or name in that situation? I would suggest not much, unless the plant is a real hero. If they are just nice plants rather than heros, why not just be happy with an un-registered nursery name or formula and be done with it. At least then there is a chance that a plant can be traced back to its origin if it turns out to be an exceptional parent and apart from that, a lot of people will get a lot of enjoyment from a lot of nice plants. Hopefully, that will support the development of more heros!

Cheers, Paul

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 11:05AM
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"A bit controversial", yes, that's putting it mildly. You can find many previous rants on this topic by doing a forum search for register/registration etc.

I think Paul has hit the nail on the head in identifying the issue as one of lack of consensus on what the purpose of registration is supposed to be. In most plant societies that I am aware of, having a registered hybrid is considered a designation of merit, reserved for a hybridizer's best work. To this end there may be all types of hoops to jump through in order to get a plant registered, ranging from fees to background checks going all the way back to the species ancestors, or judging panels to determine the horticultural merits of the cultivar submitted. From what I can tell, the BCR was originally intended to follow this same pattern-- maybe not quite so stringent, but there were a lot of forms to fill out which required info such as date of first bloom, and of course accurate parentage was expected to be given.

In recent years, however, it seems the direction of the BCR has taken almost a 180 degree turn, to the point where nothing is really required except a picture, and we are now hearing phrases like "moral obligation" to register. Frankly, I don't understand this attitude. What is so immoral about selling a plant under formula?

As a hybridizer, I want to build up a body of work that is unique and distinctive and that I can attach my name to without shame. To me, those are the ones that should get registered. Now, you may say that if they don't meet that criteria they should be destroyed and not released. I would agree in theory, but in actual practice there are many grey areas. For example, say you have a grex full of attractive, saleable cultivars with only slight variations between them. Let's leave out Neos for the time being and say they are Dyckias or foliage Vrieseas, which is not an uncommon scenario. Not many "uglies" in some of those crosses. What do you do? Register each seedling with a different name? Release them all under the same cultivar name, only to have people continually wondering why their specimen is not exactly identical to the one they've seen on FCBS or elsewhere? Pick out a single cultivar to propagate and destroy all the others, even though they may be just as nice and took you many years to produce? Or do you make your selection and sell off the rest as one-offs under formula in order to recoup at least a little of your time and expense?

I don't have a problem with that last option. The parentage formula gives the buyer valuable information if they want to do any further work with it, which is part of the purpose of registering a cv. anyway, or at least it should be. If I have a collector waving money at me and begging me for a cv. I am not ready to release yet, and if they would be just as happy with a look-alike cull, it's going to be very difficult to tell them no, I'd rather throw it on the trash pile (particularly if they are from another part of the globe and may not have access to my selected clone once I release it). I know this has caused some problems in the past, but human nature being what it is, I guess I'll just have to live with it.

Or what if your lovely grex is virtually indistinguishable from another hybridizer's cross? Do you then have a moral obligation to torch them all? What if that other breeder's hybrids are not available in your part of the world? Do you not have the right to try to remake the cross yourself for your own local market? Personally, I usually try to avoid this sort of thing because of just this sort of issue, but if you think about it, it's really not so different from growing the same species seedlings for sale as some other grower is. Clearly you don't want to register them all in this sort of scenario, in fact I might even go so far as to suggest you have an ethical obligation NOT to. Certainly any panel of judges in other societies would turn down such a plant for registration.

Frankly, I haven't been registering anything since the registry was pulled offline. Hopefully it will return in some form in the near future, at which point I will most likely resume submitting cvs., but I don't feel that every undistinguished seedling needs to be on there. I also don't think a fee is the answer. I understand the thinking behind that, to raise the caliber of material being submitted, but speaking for myself, anything that would make it more difficult than it is would be enough to deter me from doing it at all. I suspect there are others who feel the same, whether or not they will admit it. If I were selling on eBay or whatever, I might feel differently about it, but in my situation I simply don't derive much benefit from the registration process. I do it mostly as a favor to distributors like Michael K, whose sales are helped by having photos online. There are other ways of putting photos online, however. I don't dispute the usefulness of having a big photo ID index, but I just don't think that's what the registry was designed to be.

Bottom line, and I've said this numerous times, I belive it is the hybridizer's prerogative to register or not register, name or not name, as they see fit in the circumstances. Dooley, you say "If these broms get around with only the parentage on the label people will end up calling it what they want. They will look up the cross on the fcbs and if they find it will put the name that best fits", but to me, THAT'S the problem. If anyone has an obligation, moral or otherwise, I think it falls to the public to respect the breeder's judgement and not take matters into their own hands. They also need to be educated that not everthing is on FCBS, nor should it be. I've made this comparison before, but it's like assuming that every single human being is on Facebook, and that their photo actually looks like them! That's just not the case, nor was it ever intended to be.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 5:02PM
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Hi everyone,

Well it looks like this contentious topic has raised its ugly head once again.

Dooleybugs01, I have some thoughts to put forward from an amateur backyard grower's point of view. To me your idea covers three areas:

1. Only worthy plants should be registered.

2. That hybrids shouldn't leave a grower's backyard just under a formula name .

3. If these broms get around with only the parentage on the label people will end up calling it what they want.

1: I often question the importance of names on plants when you see just how much significance the big commercial growers actually place on them. To give an example, there are thousands of commercially tissue cultured plants, mainly aechmeas, guzmanias and vrieseas, flooding the nurseries and large stores all carrying the same name, "Bromeliad". If names are so important and the quality of the plants are good enough to warrant tissue culturing, then surely they are worthy of being registered and carrying the registered name.

2: As a hobbiest and "apprentice hybridizer", I often end up with a lot of seedlings I don't have the space to accommodate once they pass the tube size. Rather than compost these healthy little plants, I sometimes give them out at our brom society free of charge to members in the hope of raising their interest and confidence in growing small plants. This hopefully will encourage them to either buy seedlings or try their hand at growing their own. This is like a voluntary "growing workshop" and we have agreed that each 12 months or on flowering, the seedlings will be brought to the meeting for a "show and tell" to compare the growth and colour as well as cultural differences. To me this is just like giving someone a small lottery ticket which sometimes has an unknown reward on maturity or sometimes nothing. What ever the result, it does give a lot of people the pleasure and experience of growing a tiny seedling to maturity and it is following one of the principles of our society, which is to promote the growing of bromeliads. If I am to follow dooleybug's opinion, this is going to rob people of the opportunity of trying their hand at growing small seedlings to maturity as he thinks that plants with just a formula name shouldn't leave a persons back yard. As a member of a bromeliad society (as a lot of our contributers are) I don't see anywhere in the rules of societies where people aren't allowed acquire and grow plants with just a formula name.

3. I have purchased plants from interstate with the name tag showing the name XXXXXXXX (Unreg.) I interpret this as meaning the plant is to be registered but as yet it isn't. What is the difference between selling plants with this on the tag or a formual name. Both plants are still unregistered. What's more, if the tag is re-written on repotting and the (unreg.) is dropped of which it probably will in most cases, then the XXXXXXXXX becomes the accepted name whether it has been registered or not. Further more, you know and I know that people will often give one of their unnammed plants a "pet name". This is fine while it is their posession but once it is given to someone else, it is stuck with that name forever whether it's registered or not, so the dilemma continues.

I do however agree that only the "best of the best" should be registered and that there are still many, many "rubbish plants" being registered.

Who knows how this can change, as who decides if a plant is worthy of registering or not, will it be up to the registrar to decide? I think not. To place a fee on each registration as Allan suggested, in my opinion would just have the reverse effect, with less people going to the trouble and expense of registering plants at all, especially the non-professional growers.

It's quite accepted that orchid nurseries and individual growers are able to sell or give away orchid seedlings with just a formula name, so why should it be any different with bromeliads?

All the best, "Soapbox Nev"

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 5:58PM
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Hello all,
Thanks for everyones comments. After this discussion i feel my thoughts on the matter have somewhat changed.
I agree alot of hybridizers want to make a buck but i guess you have to recoup some costs involved in growing them. I also agree that there is alot of crap out there that looks the same. I guess we all know these people and the best thing to do is not to buy these plants. I am with Lisa and do not think paying a fee would work as it would dter people from registering.

I agree with your comments with using the fcbs as a reference as long as people take into account where the photo was taken ie. a photo of a brom taken in the USA may look different to a plant grown in Australia as there may be different growing conditions etc. I also think grouping similar plants from the same grex is the way to go and not registering different plants because it has one less spot on the leaf. The hybridizer is the best to determine this.

I agree that there has been alot of breeding particularly with the neo's and they are all looking the same and that's why alot of people are going back to species plants. I now do not have a problem with a formula on a label as long as it also has information to trace it back to it's source if further information is needed. This could be the hybridizer's name or e-mail etc.

Thanks for your wise words. I apologise if you are repeating yourself. Some areas you have discussed i have commented above. Because of yor comments and other's i have changed my opinion slightly and may sell plants under formula that i think are worth it.
As for the registering process i am not sure what can be done about it maybe like HDD says it is too late.

Your comments came thru as i was typing. As above i think it is now okay to let go plants under formula. In regards to you giving them away for people to grow that is fine as long as these people can use you as a reference if they want to register the plant you gave them.

Apologies again for bringing this subject up. My morales have been eating at me for a while now but now it is just a "nibble"


    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 6:39PM
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Ok I shall add my 2 cents worth ,i am with Lisa on this ,i see nothing wrong with selling plants under formula ,you are better of to have the given parentage than have 30 plants registered with " parentage " unknown ,wich is a load of crap ,you had to get the seed pod of something did you not ? so at least one parent can be identified ,if we are to register all plants regardless just imagen this ,Tamera and i have about 140000 vriesea seedlings on the go ,ok ,now we are going to name them all ! good, bad , indifferent,that should keep the registrar busy and everybody else happy ,if i sell any of you some seed ,i better name those before they go of with you , I have many Vrieseas as good as any that where registered ,but not named officially ,yet and they may not , that is my perogative , not some one elses , and yes there are many people who will give a " look alike " the name they think will get them the most money , we are having a problem here in Oz at the moment with some idiot who wont be told different, there is no way to stop that , for the big establisments naming is not that important unless they are applying plant breeders rights ( patent ) but they name plenty any way , yes we all at times lose a label as Allan said ,or a visitor pulls it out and can't remember where it came from ,but mostly you will rectify that as plants get bigger ,Vrieseas are very good that way , some breeders deliberately withold parentage to " safe guard " the crossing ,this is done a lot with orchids or give false parentage ,wich is stupid ,I am one for reinstating " grex names " it works so well for orchids , however each to their own , registering a plant (s) should be for the best of their type , but thats proved far from whats happening ,and beauty is in the eye of the beholder ,but there are some pretty horrible plants registered anyway ,and a plant that was a real hero 20 years ago can now be superceeded ,the hardest plants to cull are foliage vrieseas as they are consistant in giving pretty good results ,i have a nice batch near my back door at the moment, i may name one or two ,but most people would be very happy to have any of them , would any of you be happy to see me destroy them ? bear in mind these plants are as good as any i have registered out of the cross of " the Daintree x fosteriana " ,most people would rather i sell them a plant or 2 ,and i would ,why ? they are my plants and they are not crap ,thats why , but they will never all be registered ,and if some one buys one under fromula and later on gives it a pet name ? so what ? they will pass pups on under that name , but i will allways recognise it as to what the parentage is ,i only have a problem if its named / registered and then someone renames it or tries to sell a ring in under the registered name ,and thats whats happening with Vr " Wombat " here in Oz , fraud is fraud no matter what its done with ,as Lisa said ,the public has a role to play and thats to respect our decision to name or not to name ,but if we have named it ? leave it be as that name thank you , otherwise ? go breed your own plants ,if anyone thinks that you csn do all this overnight and for free ? go for it ,the cost of establishing a good parent base of plants can be huge , never mind on going costs etc ,then there is the years of record keeping and working out some of the genetics , Allan does not register ,neither does Bob Larnach ,but that does not make them any less knowledgable ,that is their decision,it worries me not , we all do some crosses wich are experimental and some of those do go to the dumpster ,and i dont want anyone to rescue those ! crap is crap, I would encourage any grower to have a go at seed raising ,and give them good sound advice if they want ,for the bulk of this posting , i am with Lisa all the way ,

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 7:48PM
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Hi Jack,
Thanks for your insight. Most comments so far are similar. This topic obviously has been debated before. I now wish i took the time to do a search and look at previous comments.
Regarding culling- with my neo seedlings if they are not showing any colour or markings by about the time they are about 2 inches tall they get thrown out. This also saves on costs involved of growing them to maturity. Showing colour/markings from a young age is a good indicator that it should be a good plant. I also do not have the luxury of space growing every seedling to maturity.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 9:08PM
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Hi Dooley , yes its been debated before Mate ,but thats ok ,you can say this is for the benefit of newer members ,and there is nothing wrong with bringing up an older thread again ,but i have posted a piccie of a batch of seedlings to show ,this way others can see ,so wich would you name ,and wich not ,what would you throw out and what would you keep ,bear in mind there are about 80 plants altogether like this , see the problem ? most people would be happy with these name or no name ,space is a problem for all of us Mate ,it can never be satisfied ,

I have done this cross 3 times and have had no real duds amongst them ,

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 11:35PM
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Is not the register now a substitute for nursery websites? An average Jane like me needs no name or formula to buy bromeliad. (I just need great looking plants. :-)).) If sellers like Michael or Topiflora would put up an on-line shop with photos I would not care what they were called. Pups look different from the mother so I would like to see a photo of the mother and the photo of any one pup. For seed grown plants, what I do not want is that seller puts up the photo of one single plant and a grex name and sells totally different plants all in this grex under this one photo.

Would a bromeliad sell for a different price if it had a (different) name? If yes, we have the problem that is commonplace with any purchase, namely you buy it for the name and not (only) for the look. If you figure out that a seller sold you something that turned out to be something else, whatever it was called, you are not going to buy from that seller any more, would you?

Why register a plant at all? Does it help to see a name, a formula, a photo etc of something if one could not get it? Registering could be good for hybridizers only to look up the formula. Now, how do you interpret the recent flod of hybrids with "parentage unknown"?

Why do not we ask the hybridizer if he or she could send in one hybrid to the register for verification (each year)? Let us see how many plant turns up. Did a hybridizer keep cultivating a plant that he or she could not sell? If the plant was not available, just delete it from the register. It would be interesting to see how a hybridizer of similar plants able to reproduce what he did, whether able to tell one hybrid from another similar looking hybrid apart after some time/generation e.g. based on the number of spots that he or she used as an argument to register a plant as unique..?

Why do not we community nominate plants for a Golden Raspberry Award of the year for the worst hybrids? Would it be deterrent for a hybridizer to see a number of his or her plants top the list year after year? By the way, we could also do this for nice hybrids, like a Bromeliad Hybrid of the year Oscar.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 5:34AM
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