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Grex Naming

This article describes our naming system for in-house Nepenthes hybrids. The system outlined here only applies to hybrids created by Predatory Plants. We are not establishing any sort of registry or general system. This page is designed to allow people who have purchased a Predatory Plants hybrid to better understand the name and parentage of their plant. A full list of our our documented greges can be found on our Grex Index Page.

What is a grex

We use a grex-based nomenclature for our hybrids. A "grex" is the collective word for all the offspring of two genetic individuals. The plural of grex is "greges". Strictly speaking, only orchids have formal greges, but we have borrowed the system for use in our breeding program. We use it to create brief, interesting names for hybrids, rather than relying only on strict hybrid nomenclature. In addition to using greges to designate our hybrids, we use a naming scheme that makes the parentage of a given grex clear to anyone familiar with our breeding program.

An important detail of this system is that it is about clones, not species. We have 2 different female clones of Nepenthes ventricosa. If we pollinate each clone with our male N. ovata, each pair will be a different grex. Many Nepenthes species are highly variable, and this system ensures that the characteristics of the specific parents are described in the grex. It also means that our greges are still valid even if future taxonomists rename or change species around. A grex name applies to multiple hybridizations between the same parents. So if we cross N. ventricosa "black peristome" with N. ovata in 2017, and again in 2019, both sets of seedlings will belong to the same grex.

Why we use greges

There are two reasons we use a grex system here at Predatory Plants. First, ease of communication. Hybrid nomenclature can get very complex. For example, as of this writing we are working on a hybrid that, fully designated, would be called "N. [(thorelii × maxima) × stenophylla] × (singalana × hamata "Hairy Red"). This is obviously much more of a mouthful than most people would want to use day-to-day. Our grex system allows people to refer to this cross as "N. Righteous Silence" instead. It's still possible to know the full nomenclature by referring to the grex entry, but a shorter, more memorable name is very valuable.

The second reason to use a grex system is to more precisely describe our hybrids. As mentioned above, many Nepenthes species are highly variable. A simple hybrid like "N. maxima × ventricosa" could look like almost anything, given how different one N. maxima can look from another, and how different two clones of N. ventricosa can be. Also, sometimes varieties and subspecies get upgrades to full species and have their names changed. By establishing a grex through photographs of parent plants, we can be very precise about what genetics are going into a cross, without having to use informal clone designations like "giant" or "red" or "Wistuba clone" in the name. This makes it much easier to keep track of different hybrids in our greenhouse, and in people's collections.

Why not use cultivars

We believe that the official cultivar registration system is best reserved for exceptional clones. Given the variation that can emerge in a set of sibling plants, we feel it is better to use a grex system to refer to the entire set, and potentially grant cultivar status to selected individuals that stand out from the crowd in some way. We intend to use both systems in tandem as our breeding program continues.

How are greges established

Each of our greges is described on its individual entry. All of our greges are located on the Grex Index page. Grex entries include photographs of each parent, as well as example plants from the grex. There is also additional information, such as pollination dates, the provenance of the parents, any selected cultivars from the grex, etc.

How to write grex names

There is a specific way to write our grex names. The first word is the genus, either in its entirety or abbreviated, written in italics if possible. Next is the grex name. The words in this name are capitalized (except for words like "of" or "and"), and not italicized. This name does not use any sort of quotes, single or double. If you like, you can use an "x" or "×" between the genus and the grex name of indicate its hybrid status. Below are examples:


Nepenthes Dream of Victory
Nepenthes x Dream of Victory
N. ×Dream of Victory
N. Dream of Victory


Nepenthes "Dream of Victory"
Nepenthes dream of victory
'Dream of Victory'
N. x dream of victory

How we name our greges

We use a very specific system for naming our greges. We assign a word to each of our breeding plants, and combine those words to create the grex names. We base that word on the species of the breeding plant, and if it's a hybrid we base the word on the first species in the hybrid. If the parent is a named hybrid or a cultivar, we'll base the word on that instead.

As an example, one of our favorite breeders is a female N. densiflora × spectabilis "giant". We've assigned that plant the word "Dream." We also often use a male N. ventricosa "red", which we've assigned the word "Victory". When we cross these plants, the resulting grex is called "N. Dream of Victory". Our male N. truncata we call "Tyrant," which means the hybrid with N. densiflora × spectabilis "giant" is called "N. Dreaming Tyrant".

This system allows us to better track our hybrids, and lets our customers know the relationships between our hybrids. Using this system, you can tell that N. Titan Angel, N. Titan's Mirror, and N. Titanic Triumph are all "half-siblings", as it were – they all come from the same female N. truncata. Similarly, N. Dream of Triumph, N. Titanic Triumph, and N. Virtue's Triumph are all hybrids from the same male N. talangensis.

Example parent words:

N. mira: Mirror
N. sanguinea "red": Secret
N. 'Peter d'Amato': Perfect
N. ×tiveyi "Big Yellow: Tapestry
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