Unlike most other groups of plants, orchids hybridise widely in nature. For the last 150 years they have been widely crossed in cultivation to produce more than 110,000 hybrids. In excess of 3,000 new orchid hybrids are being added annually. A quarterly update is published with The Orchid Review, the orchid journal of the RHS.
View the orchid hybrid lists
Please fill out and submit the application form below. A brief description and or colour image is also useful. In case of queries, please e-mail the orchid registrar.
Application form for registration of an orchid hybrid (64kB pdf)
Application form for registration of an orchid hybrid - Japanese (155kB pdf)
Application form for registration of an orchid hybrid - Portuguese (731kB pdf)
The postal address for applications is:
19 Longleat Crescent, Chilwell, Nottingham NG9 5ET, UK
Fax. +44 115 876 7963
Guidelines and rules for composing grex, group and cultivar names
The names of cultivated plants are governed by the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP). A summary of the main points is included below to assist those who need to create new names for registration or publication. Note that the ICNCP now supersedes the Handbook on Orchid Nomenclature and Registration 4th ed. of 1993.
Download a summary of the guidelines and rules (18.4kB pdf)
The generic names used for orchid hybrids must comply with the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN).
Download a summary of the guidelines (9kB pdf)
Abbreviations for orchid genera (48.9kB pdf) - an alphabetical list of abbreviations for orchid genera, as used in Sander's List.
List of genera with components (206kB pdf) - this list includes the new hybrid genera used in registration following the classification proposed in Genera Orchidacearum volume 4 (2005).
Search the register
Search the International Orchid Register online* can be searched online by two methods.
This method can be used to identify any grexes from particular seed and pollen parents.
Grex Name Search
This method can be used to find the parentage of particular grexes.
* It should be noted that all dates of registration prior to 1990 are given to the year only (e.g. 1/1/65)
The Orchid Hybrid Registration Advisory Group (OHRAG)
The purpose of this Advisory Group is to advise the RHS in matters relating to orchid nomenclature and taxonomy and their application to the International Register of Orchid Hybrids (Sander’s List).
View the 2014 issue (743kB pdf)
View the 2012 issue (339kB pdf)
View the 2011 issue 361kB pdf)
View the 2010 issue (26kB pdf)
The RHS publishes the Supplement of New Orchid Hybrids (Sander's List) quarterly, and lists since 2001 are available to download for free.
View the orchid hybrid lists
The RHS once published The Handbook on Orchid Nomenclature and Registration, now out of print, which has been superseded by The International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants, 8th edition, 2009.
It also publishes regular addenda which include all hybrid generic names registered for a certain period and includes parentage, names of registrant and originator and year of registration.
View more orchid publications
Significant developments in the history of orchid hybrids and their registration (15kB pdf)
Checking other orchid names
Botanical names of genera, species and some lower ranks may be checked using the databases at:
The International Plant Names Index - lists all known botanical names for higher plants
Kew World Monocots Checklist - lists currently accepted names with their synonyms. The orchid register usually follows the names accepted therein
Please note: downloading PDFs requires an up-to-date version of Adobe Reader, which is available free online