Hebe Registration – ICRA Cultivars

The Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture (RNZIH) is the International Cultivar Registration Authority (ICRA) for several New Zealand native genera – Coprosma, Leptospermum, Phormium, Pittosporum, and the hebes (NZ native shrubby Veronica – Veronica L. sect. Hebe (Comm. ex Juss) Benth. – including plants formerly in the genera Hebe, Chionohebe, Heliohebe, Leonohebe, and Parahebe).

New enquiries for registrations of Hebes from the UK and Europe can now be made via The Hebe Society at the link https://www.rnzih.org.nz/pages/ICRA-RNZIH_Registration_Form.html or contact the Hebe Society at regheberegistrar@gmail.com for further information and advice.

Cultivars from the above-mentioned genera in New Zealand, Australia, and elsewhere can also be registered by filling out the form at https://www.rnzih.org.nz/pages/ICRA-RNZIH_Registration_Form.html, or contact the RNZIH at office@rnzih.org.nz if you need advice.

Although there are numerous woody Veronica (Hebe) cultivars, relatively few are documented through commercial Plant Variety Rights (PVR). International Cultivar Registration is therefore an effective tool for documenting those that do not go through the PVR process.

Cultivar registration is free, and allows cultivars' names, origins, parentage and descriptions to be recorded, as an important part of our horticultural heritage. Registration helps prevent name repetition, confusion over correct identities, and documents a history of introductions. This work is important for promoting a wider diversity of cultivars to be planted, native plant and cultivar conservation, and for plant breeding.

The late Lawrie Metcalf held the position of Registrar since the RNZIH was first accepted as an authority in 1958. As part of his position, Lawrie prepared the major International Register of Hebe Cultivars published by the RNZIH in 2001. After 55 years, Lawrie stepped down and the RNZIH sincerely thank him for his extraordinary years of service as our Registrar.

Since 2013, Murray Dawson has been the current Registrar. Murray was chosen by Lawrie as his successor as he is a botanist who has published authoritative articles on cultivar origins (e.g., Agapanthus, Leptospermum and Metrosideros) and is leading the New Zealand Plant Collection Register project.

There has been a lack of new registrations for 12 years, and since 2022, the RNZIHHebe Society, and Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) have been working together to encourage new registrations of hebe cultivars (and other genera) under this scheme.

Nigel Hutchinson (UK) is compiling a new International Register of hebe cultivars and by Registering through ICRA this will be used to update the cultivar list, currently more than 1,300 names.

Murray Dawson (NZ) is the Registrar acting for the RNZIH.

Also see:

Cultivar checklists currently published by the RNZIH at www.rnzih.org.nz/pages/cultivars.html.

RNZIH online form for registering New Zealand native cultivars.

RNZIH table summarising registrations since 1980.

A world directory of ICRA's at www.ishs.org/sci/icralist/icralist.htm.

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