Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Royal Horticultural Society Horticultural Database

‘The Royal Horticultural Society Horticultural Database’, available at www.rhs.org.uk‘The Royal Horticultural Society Horticultural Database’, available at www.rhs.org.uk is an incredible resource for insight into orchid hybrids. Not all named hybrids are registered, especially Phals. Still, I find most of the plants where I am interested in are registered.

Cattlianthe Molly Tyler - Photo by Richard LindbergThe function I use most is the grex name search. When I get an orchid the first thing I do is try to verify that the tag is correct. That can be a little difficult what with all the orchid name changes. I have found that the most productive way is to enter the grex name only. For example, the tag on this plant said "Lc Molly Tyler". I searched only for "molly tyler".

In the case of "molly tyler" there is only one result but sometimes there are several. Most of them can be eliminated as obviously not the match you are looking for because of the genus name.

‘The Royal Horticultural Society Horticultural Database’, available at www.rhs.org.ukIt is often not quite this easy. The "Synonym Genus Name" matches my tag so I am satisfied I have the right plant. Both of the parents have changed genus so that genus is hard to predict. That is why I leave it out on the first search.

The next step, even if I can't find the orchid in the RHS database, is a Google search looking for plant or flower pictures and forum discussions. That sometimes yields a name that can be found in the RHS database. Sometimes, I get nothing. One tag took more than a year before I stumbled on the correct spelling of the name.


  1. Thanks for taking the time with my qustion. I think my problem was adding too much information.

  2. I wonder how many it would come up with if you typed in "Carmela"--she seems to have so many hybrids named after her from all genera. Who is Carmela, anyway?

  3. You get 264 matches on "Carmela". Carmela refers to Carmela Orchids,
    a grower on the big island that has been in business since 1960 and
    has a very active hybridizing program. To see the location, search for
    Hakalau, HI in Google maps.