Frequently asked questions
What does registration mean to the hybridizer?
When you register your cultivar with the American Begonia Society you are recognized both in our historic list of cultivars, which extends back to the early 1930’s, and with a publication of your new cultivar in our international publication The Begonian. So, a little bit of immortality and a bit of promotion. Also, we check through all known names for Begonia hybrids to help avoid duplication of names in the records.
Why do we refer to a new plant as a cultivar? Is that different than a hybrid?
A hybrid refers to any seedling from a cross of two different plant species or hybrids. All of the seed of a given cross are the same hybrid (you’ll also see the term ‘grex’ used to encompass all the progeny of the same cross), until one is selected and given a cultivar name.
A cultivar refers to an individual plant with a given name, and distinctive characteristic(s), different from all other seedlings in the cross.
The American Begonia Society registers cultivars, we do not register the entire cross and all the hybrids that came from it, unless they were distinctively different from one another and had been given cultivar names..
Does my registration protect my cultivar in way?
No, Registration has no legal standing in court other than as documentation of when you invented the cultivar and submitted it for registration.
IF you want to protect your cultivar from illegal propagation you must have a formal plant patent filed with the US patent office.
IF you want to protect the name you have chosen for your Begonia you need to file a trademark, again with the US patent office.
For more information on plant patents, and trademarks, check: https://www.uspto.gov/
How do I register my cultivar?
By filling out the registration form completely, and emailing it to the Cultivar Registrar, along with six images of the plant showing different perspectives, to illustrate the different characteristics of your cultivar. The six images we ask for are listed on the cultivar registration form, and are REQUIRED for a complete registration form. When you have completed your form and have your images, you can go to the online shop and purchase a cultivar registration; then you just attach the form and photographss as noted and send it to ABS. You will be notified when your information is received and also if we have further questions.
Why so many measurements? and why in centimeters?
There have been easily over twenty thousand different cultivars of Begonia sold over the last 200 years,it is best to have a standard and comprehensive comprehensive set of measurements for each new cultivar. When you look at the complexity of the Begonia types in the gardening world and you can see it takes a lot of information to keep things organized.
The American Begonia Society is an international society with members on every continent. Metric measurements are required because that is what the majority of the world uses as a system of measure. If you need help converting between centimeters and inches, just do an internet search for “metric conversion” and you’ll find plenty of sites to help you quickly convert your measurements!
When should I apply for my registration?
No need to rush! It is exciting to have a new cultivar you created, but in general the old school required 3-5 years of trialing with other Begonia lovers before you applied to register your new cultivar. This allowed for objective opinions on the new plant, to support it; from those with personal experience growing your cultivar. It also allowed time for a supplier to build up stock in case you were trying to make your plant available to a larger audience. In modern times we usually suggest you grow the plant for 2-3 years before registering it. Many hybridizers will tell you they are only getting an idea of the mature coloring and growth habit of their hybrids after about three years. So please do not rush the process, allow yourself time to see both the good and bad of any new cultivars that will have your name on them.
Welcome and we look forward to seeing what you create in begonias!
Thank you for filling out the registration form and images.
Remember you can download the file and keep a copy for your records and then you do not need to fill out the entire form each time you register!