International Organization Launched to Clear Up Taxonomy Confusion

May 2, 2008 - 09:10

In an effort to provide necessary leadership in the field of taxonomy and nomenclature of cultivated plants, a new organization was launched last fall during the fifth annual International Symposium on the Taxonomy of Cultivated Plants in Wageningen, The Netherlands.

The new organization, called the International Association for Cultivated Plant Taxonomy (IACPT), wants to emphasize the importance of knowing a plant’s precise name and understanding its origin, development, description, classification and performance potential. The IACPT points to information sharing as its core mission and will encourage international cooperation among individuals and institutions interested in this field and related disciplines.

“Stability and harmonization in cultivated plant names can be achieved only with clear and widely accessible information,” according to an IACPT press release.

To achieve its goals, the association will sponsor symposia, publish a journal dedicated to cultivated-plant taxonomy, develop databases and online resources for improving stability in the nomenclature of cultivated plants and become a “vehicle for discussion and provide advice on the implementation of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP).”

Members include taxonomists, international and cultivar registration authorities, representatives of plant breeders–rights authorities, industry scientists and specialists, public garden professionals and many others. Memberships are now being solicited. Currently, there are 70 members from 13 different countries. Five individuals represent the United States and Canada on the IACPT council. John Wiersema, Michael Dosmann (vice president for the Americas) and Dennis Collins (secretary) for the United States. Freek Vrugtman and Bernard Baum represent Canada.

Although there is yet no policy for institutional memberships, inquiries on the subject are welcome and there are plans to address this in the future.

For more information, visit or contact Dennis Collins at (617) 607-1961 or

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