Freesia laxa 'Joan Evans'

Rodger Whitlock
Wed, 07 Dec 2011 18:59:25 PST
On 7 Dec 2011, at 10:40, Jim McKenney wrote:

> the English word variety is used in
> several disparate senses: 
> 1) sometimes it is used as the translation of the rank varietas of formal
> botanical nomenclature, 
> 2) sometimes it is used to describe new vegetable varieties grown annually from
> seed, 
> 3) sometimes it is used to name a clonally distinct novelty raised from seed, 
> 4) sometimes it is used to name a somatic sport which has arisen among clonally
> propagated material. 
> 5) and among other uses it is sometimes used to mean a mix.

Jim's uses #2, #3, and #4 are misuses of "variety" instead of the correct word, 
"cultivar", a term coined by Liberty Hyde Bailey about a century ago 
specifically to reduce the confusion between naturally occurring botanical 
varieties and forms which have by one means or another arisen in cultivation.

There are seed strains other than of vegetables that qualify as cultivars. 
Nearly any annual flower falls under this use and it is appropriate to apply it 
to nearly any garden form that comes true from seed. Freesia laxa 'Joan Evans' 
is a case in point as it comes true from seed. The question is, who is the one 
who can say "this cultivar comes true from seed" and thereby okay using the 
cultivar name for seedlings? What happens if the originator says this but it 
isn't true? I don't know.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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