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  1. Plant names must always start with the genus. This (Latin) word always has a capital letter. Example: Kalmia

  2. Most plants will also have the name of the species following the genus. This word begins with a lower case letter. Example: Kalmia latifolia

  3. Many cultivated and wild plants are differentiated into varieties (taxa ) that occur, and have evolved in nature. The name of a variety always is introduced by the abbreviation "var." and is in lower case letters. Example: Kalmia latifolia var. occidentalis

  4. Many cultivated plants have forms that arose in cultivation, and do not occur in nature. These cultivar names are always in single quotes, and always start with an initial capital letter. Example: Kalmia latifolia ‘Rubra’

  5. There will be cases where the species of the plant is unknown, but it has a cultivar name. This may be because the plant is a hybrid of two or more species. In this instance, it is correct to use the name of the genus and the name of the cultivar only. Example: Rosa ‘Dorothy Perkins’

  6. In rare cases where only the genus is known, and you are unable to identify the species or, more likely, the cultivar, you may use the abbreviation for species (sp.) or cultivar (cv.) in place of the exact name. Examples: Kalmia latifolia cv.; Pinus sp.



If you want to use a plant in your exhibit and you don't know its name, use a good pictorial guide such as any garden catalogue to identify your plant and then look it up in Hortus, The Royal Horticulture Society's Index of Garden Plants, Wyman's Gardening Encyclopedia, or other reference books. If you are still at a loss, call a WGC Horticulture Chairman for help. Kindly do this before the show if possible.

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