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Your Best Source for Salvias When it comes to ornamental and medicinal Salvias -- or true sages -- more is what you get from Flowers by the Sea (FBTS). We offer more types, more colors, more vigor, more care in shipping and more information. We grow, develop and test hundreds of ornamental and medicinal Salvias. Our farm and online nursery doesn’t sell to big box outlets; instead, we ship directly to home gardeners like you. At Flowers by the Sea, you'll find the largest selection of Salvias -- both popular and rare -- available anywhere in the world. We aren't just here to sell plants and make a living; we're here to help you make the world more beautiful. Our Catalog Don't expect a catalog in your mailbox from Flowers by the Sea, because we have never printed one and refuse to do so. Print catalogs are tree-munching dinosaurs on their way to extinction due to the rapidly changing world of digital technology. Online catalogs are environmentally friendly and save our customers money, because we can keep our plant prices low. Learn more Even more . . . 100% Guaranteed Shipping Info Everything Salvias Blog Salvia Alert Salvia Daily Deal Why FBTS? Our Unconditional, Money Back Guarantee All plants are guaranteed to arrive at your home in excellent condition and clearly labeled. In addition, we guarantee your absolute satisfaction with these plants. There is no hidden small print; we know you will love our quality, so we guarantee it! We ship well-rooted stock in the container size listed for each plant in our catalog. Occasionally we will cut a plant back to facilitate shipping, but hey -- we're gardeners, so we'll do a thoughtful job of it. We are very careful about not sending you weeds or pests! If your plants do not arrive in excellent condition, please contact us immediately via email or telephone. You can choose to have either a refund or credit on a future order. Our goal is to make you happy, satisfied and glad you ordered from us! Our Shipping is Fast, Fair & Efficient Flowers by the Sea uses a customized system for shipping charges. Customized fees allow adjustment of shipping prices based on how far away you live from FBTS and how many plants you purchase. This is a more equitable way of covering delivery fees instead of increasing plant prices to cover losses on delivery charges as in a flat-rate system. Our blog gets to the roots of Everything Salvias Please visit our Everything Salvias Blog, where we discuss favorite sages and companion plants in detail. We share information about a broad array of species and dig into topics such as butterfly and hummingbird plants, Culinary Sages, medicinal use of Salvias, native gardens, plant cultivation, Salvia history including plant exploration, selection of plants based on climate and tips for waterwise gardening. Salvia Alert! Salvia Alert! is a free service to our customers, to keep them informed of new and unusual Salvia species and varieties as they become commercially avaliable.Sign up now There is no regular schedule for Salvia Alert emails. They may arrive in your inbox once a week or once a month depending on the timing of new introductions and the growth cycle of other plants. The in-stock quantity of any given plant detailed in an Alert is limited. However, there are no other restrictions on the number you may purchase while the plant is in stock. The chase is on once the Alert is mailed: Sales continue until stock is gone, which may be minutes, hours or more than a day. Salvia Daily Deal Sign up now These are some of the reasons our customers love FBTS: Quality plants that are large, healthy and carefully cultivated Meticulous attention to safe shipping A broad range of floral colors and handsome foliage shapes and textures An emphasis on drought- and heat-resistant species Salvias for all conditions from shade to full sun and from moist to dry soils Helpful information about gardening to attract hummingbirds and other small wildlife Extensive advice about the right kind of Salvias for your landscape, and Patient, generous customer service. Welcome to our small, family farm and online nursery located in Elk, California, on the Mendocino Coast. We are dedicated to high quality growing and shipping of the best horticultural sages (Salvia spp.) available from America and around the world. We are a United Nations of sages. Flowers by the Sea (FBTS) offers a broad array of native North American species as well as Salvias from Asia, Africa, Australia, Central and South America, Europe and the Mediterranean. Aside from our endless curiosity about the huge Salvia genus, it is the mild local climate that makes this possible. At FBTS, we grow hundreds of the nearly 900 species in the fragrant, colorful Salvia genus, which is part of the Mint Family. Our sages range from short herbaceous groundcovers to shrubs so tall they are considered trees. All the plants that we cultivate in our greenhouses are also grown outdoors in our test gardens. FBTS sends you carefully packaged potted plants that are healthy and ready for planting. We scrupulously nurture them to encourage strength and avoid pests and garden diseases. Our guarantee of 100 percent satisfaction allows you full credit or reimbursement in the rare event that any plants ordered are not in good condition upon arrival. Our state-of-the-art production methods are technologically advanced, environmentally sound and aimed at producing the best possible horticultural products. We have been in service continuously since first turning our farm's soil in 1991. Aside from seeking to earn a living in a satisfying, ecofriendly way, we've always focused on enhancing the quality of life of our customers, employees and community. Frogs eat insects in our production fields and greenhouses. Hummingbirds graze on the nectar of the flowers. We keep honeybees as pollinators and to help increase the dwindling population of bees worldwide. Our goats eat weeds and brush as well as providing fertilizer for the crops. FBTS exists as a balanced, living organism in which everything plays a part. By caring for the land with love and respect, we think we are being good global citizens. By providing a high level of customer service and listening closely to your feedback and requests for information, we hope to be an excellent resource in your gardening life. Please feel free to contact us anytime. Kermit and Vikki Carter Flowers by the Sea PO Box 89, Elk, California, 95432 USA
Our Unconditional, Money Back Guarantee All plants are guaranteed to arrive at your home in excellent condition and clearly labeled. In addition, we guarantee your absolute satisfaction with these plants. We know you will love our quality, so we guarantee it! We ship well-rooted stock in the container size listed for each plant in our catalog. Occasionally we will cut a plant back to facilitate shipping, but hey -- we're gardeners, so we'll do a thoughtful job of it. We are very careful about not sending you weeds or pests! If your plants do not arrive in excellent condition, please contact us immediately via email or telephone. You can choose to have either a refund or credit on a future order. Our goal is to make you happy, satisfied and glad you ordered from us! Exceptions to Our Guarantee Ground Shipment Incorrectly Selected If you live beyond our ground shipment area yet incorrectly select that shipping option, we can't guarantee the health or survival of your plants and can't provide a refund. Please read our ground delivery rules at the bottom of this page.Acts of Nature/Lack of Proper Care We can't guarantee survival of our plants in the event of an act of nature, such as a storm, extreme summer heat or unexpectedly severe drought. Outside of these conditions, our plants should perform well if they receive appropriate moisture, sunlight and soil and if selected correctly based on USDA Hardiness Zones. Proper care also requires planting with sufficient time for roots to become well established before winter. If their needs aren't met (we trust you to judge this) or acts of nature harm them, we can't guarantee replacement or a refund/credit.Winter Damage We do not, under any circumstances, guarantee winter survival of plants. Too many factors are out of our control.Plants listed as "Challenging" We can't unconditionally guarantee success with species that are challenging outside their native environment. For species we indicate as being challenging (information posted in the plant descriptions), we only guarantee safe arrival of healthy plants. We can't guarantee your success beyond this point for difficult species, as many are rigorous about their cultural requirements. Our Plants The descriptions about our plants and the other products that we sell are as accurate as we can make them be and are based on our personal experience. After all, we grow these plants in our own garden! And each plant listing contains a brief description of its appearance, cultural requirements and general uses. We cannot know your micro-climate or specific growing conditions, so please research the requirements of a plant before your purchase. Additionally, we can make no personal claims as to the effectiveness of medicinal plants. Flower Color The flower color of our plants in your garden may not always exactly match the colors in our photographs. This is due, in part, to the photographic process and varying lighting conditions during the day. What looks red-orange when photographed at noon may look crimson later in the day. Color -- both of flowers and foliage -- may also vary based on the differences in growing conditions from one area to another. Variations in soil chemistry, including pH and fertility, can cause colors to shift. The day & night temperature, the intensity of the light, drought conditions, excessive rainfall, air pollution and stress from pests all affect plant pigmentation. These are factors that vary by location and from one season to another. Nature is full of surprises. So please forgive us if a plant that we describe as being "clear pink" or "tomato red" appears somewhat different in your garden. Also, please keep in mind that two people viewing the same flower in the same place and under the same conditions may describe its color differently. Substitutions and Backorders We will not make any substitutions without your permission. If you wish to list acceptable substitutions, please use the Notes box at the bottom of the Checkout page to tell us what to do. We do not backorder unavailable plants without your permission. Shipping Methods Please read this section carefully before selecting a shipping method. Using an inappropriate service can cause unnecessary stress to your plants. Ground Delivery is the appropriate method for all shipments where your Zip Code begins with 8 or 9 (West of the Rocky Mountains). It is also the fastest method in this region - faster than 3 Day Select. 3rd Day Air is the appropriate method if your Zip code begins with 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 (East of the Rocky Mountains). This will guarantee that your plants will arrive the same week they are shipped. Read about how we work to keep our shipping prices low and fair at our  Shipping Information page. Please remember: the shipping method you choose can greatly affect the health of the plants you receive. We cannot be responsible for damaged plants if you choose Ground service and are shipping to a Zip code that begins with 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7! Seasonal Delivery Unless you instruct otherwise, we will send your order on the next regular shipping day (Monday & Tuesday), in one shipment. If you would like us to hold your plants until your weather is appropriate for planting please tell us so in the Customer Notes section of your order. Requests for Delayed Delivery To delay receipt of an order due to sudden, difficult weather or another reason, please contact us immediately. If it isn't already shipped, we can generally place a hold for a few weeks. Additions to Orders To make additions to an order that hasn't yet shipped, please place a second order (minimum of $25) before the Saturday noon (PST) shipping deadline. If you want both orders combined for shipping, you must add a message requesting this service in the "customer notes" section at the end of the second order. We provide a refund for any excess shipping charges. Payment Upon Order FBTS charges for orders when we receive them. When you place an order, whether for this week or for a number of weeks in the future, we set aside plants for you that no one else may purchase. This policy allows you to make sure the plants you want are available when you need them. Refunds and Credits If you order plants far in advance of your requested delivery date, please remember that we can't provide a refund on a credit card purchase 60 days after the order is placed. The same thing is true in the rare event that you experience a plant failure and report it beyond the 60-day limit. We can, however, credit your purchase by providing a gift certificate.
When you open a plant description page, the first feature you may notice below the plant name is a series of tabs. One tab, Cultural Icons, leads to information concerning the plant's needs and characteristics. Each plant's cultural icons page is a quick read, because the information is represented by icon-sized illustrations that become familiar as you scan more and more plant descriptions. Click on an icon and its pop-up box appears explaining what it means. Understanding Plant Cultural Icons When you open a plant description page such as this one for Salvia x 'Margie Griffith', the first feature you may notice below the plant name is a series of tabs. One tab, Cultural Icons, leads to information concerning the plant's needs and characteristics. Each plant's cultural icons page is a quick read, because the information is represented by icon-sized illustrations -- as well as words -- that become familiar as you scan more and more plant descriptions. The page may be divided into as many as six topics: Exposure (sun and shade needs, heat tolerance) Garden Uses (container planting, fragrance, medicinal qualities) Growing Habit (USDA Plant Hardiness Zone indicating cold tolerance, height and width, perennial or annual, whether it's a shrub) Water Needs (drought resistant, preferring or requiring average watering, water loving) Blooming Season (spring, summer, fall, winter)and Wildlife (whether it is deer resistant and what kind of small wildlife it attracts -- butterflies, honeybees and/or hummingbirds). For garden color, pay close attention to the Blooming Season icons. Although some Salvias bloom during a single season, many are long flowering such as Salvia x 'Margie Griffith', which may bloom year-round in USDA zones 8 to 11. Click on an icon and its pop-up box appears explaining what it means. For example, the "full sun" pop-up box explains that the plant "needs or tolerates more than six hours of intense sunlight daily." It also explains conditions in which a full-sun plant may tolerate shade. The icons are guidelines for success in plant choice and care. We encourage you to explore their meaning and use them to select plants appropriate to your climate and yard.
We respect your privacy! Our policy is very simple. We will treat you in the same way we ourselves wish to be treated: Any and all the information collected on this site will be kept strictly confidential and will not be sold, rented, disclosed, or loaned! We store this data only to make visiting our site easier for you. You have our promise we will never abuse your email address, nor pester you in any way. We DO NOT store credit card or banking information on this site. If you have any questions, please feel free to call or e-mail us. Now here is the our policy in more "official" language: Flowers by the Sea, based in Elk, California, does collect information about our customers and those who choose to register for our free newsletters. We collect the information ONLY to provide an easier shopping experience for returning customers, and to be able to email our newsletters. We collect ONLY the information you share when making a purchase or registering for our newsletters. This includes: Your name Your address Your telephone number Your email Your method of payment What you have ordered Your USDA Hardiness Zone Your area of horticultural interest WE DO NOT STORE CREDIT CARD NUMBERS OR DATA We NEVER have or will sell, share or otherwise disseminate any of this information. No personal information of any kind is available to anyone other than the owners of Flowers by the Sea. Should you wish, we will remove any and all information about you and your purchases from our database, retaining only a paper copy for accounting purposes. You can at any time opt out from any free newsletter you have requested.  Just clink the "unsubscribe" link on any email. Thank you, Kermit & Vikki Carter Flowers by the Sea
What are the main differences between an Annual or Perennial? Annuals and Perennials vary depending on where you live. If you want a perennial, shrub, or tree to survive and grow year after year, the plant must tolerate year round conditions in your area, such as the lowest and highest temperatures and the amount of rainfall. If you are Zone 5 any plant that is Zone 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 would be a perennial in your area, anything zone 6, 7 8, 9 or 10 would be an annual. Certain areas of your yard could be hot spots and might be able to tolerate one zone higher. Note: If the map that displays your zone appears inaccurate, you may be in a microclimate. What is a microclimate? A microclimate is a local atmospheric zone where the climate differs from the surrounding area. The term may refer to areas as small as a few square feet (for example a garden bed) or as large as many square miles (for example a valley). Microclimates exist, for example, near bodies of water which may cool the local atmosphere, or in heavily urban areas where brick, concrete, and asphalt absorb the sun's energy, heat up, and reradiate that heat to the ambient air: the resulting urban heat island is a kind of microclimate. Another contributory factor to microclimate is the slope, or aspect. South-facing slopes in the Northern Hemisphere and north-facing slopes in the Southern Hemisphere are exposed to more direct sunlight than opposite slopes and are therefore warmer for longer. The area in a developed industrial park may vary greatly from a wooded park nearby, as natural flora in parks absorb light and heat in leaves, that a building roof or parking lot just conducts back to the air. Solar energy advocates argue that widespread use of solar collection can mitigate overheating of urban environments by absorbing sunlight and putting it to work instead of heating the local surface objects. A microclimate can offer an opportunity as a small growing region for crops that cannot thrive in the broader area; this concept is often used in permaculture practiced in northern temperate climates. Microclimates can be used to the advantage of gardeners who carefully choose and position their plants. Cities often raise the average temperature by zoning, and a sheltered position can reduce the severity of winter. Roof gardening, however, exposes plants to more extreme temperatures in both summer and winter. Looking for your Zone by Zipcode? Click here to go the the USDA Site
Flowers by the Sea ships plants throughout the United States, including Arizona, California, Florida and Hawaii. We don't ship cuttings or small, barely rooted sticks. Instead, we send you plants that are well established and garden ready in 3.5-inch containers. They are large enough for safe packing and shipping in sturdy cardboard boxes. Shipping costs are separate of charges for plants. Shipping fees vary based on size of order and distance of destination from our Northern California farm. Many of our customers have said, "These are the largest and healthiest mail order plants we have ever seen". Shipping Costs and Rate Structure. Our minimum order is $25.00, not including shipping. We ship exclusively via United Parcel Service, using a customized shipping-rate structure in which the cost of delivery increases slightly as the size of your order increases. Adding additional plants to your order will decrease the cost per plant. Delivery charges are also based on your location, and are displayed in real time during the checkout process. Our secure server communicates with the UPS Rates server and calculates the exact charges from us to you. We don't make money on shipping. Instead, we have negotiated excellent rates and pass on 100 percent of those savings to you. A customized rate system is more equitable than a nationwide flat-rate system, which is subsidized by significantly increasing plant prices to all customers. Everyone wins with our customized shipping charges. Shipping Schedule. FBTS ships plants throughout the year, weather permitting, and our busy times are in spring and fall. Shipping occurs on Mondays and Tuesdays only, which allows us to avoid weekend delays in delivery and ensures that your plants arrive as fresh as possible. For the same reason, we generally don't ship during weeks in which holidays occur. When you place an order, our shopping cart page lets you select a shipping week from a list of choices. Weeks shaded in gray are unavailable due to Federal holidays or a full schedule for that week. If you skip this section of the order page or if you choose to let us select your delivery week, we'll send out your order during the next available shipping week. However, we may hold your order for later delivery if extreme weather is predicted for your area during the scheduled shipping time. In that case, we'll contact you promptly. Packing and shipping occurs on Mondays and sometimes on Tuesdays. If Monday of a scheduled shipping week is a legal holiday, we do not ship that week. Order Tracking. Our carrier sends you a tracking notification shortly after your package is on their truck. Please use this information to track the progress of your shipment. We don't require a signature for delivery unless you tell us one is advisable and that you don't want your plants delivered unless someone is at home to accept them. We chose our shipping company not only because its rates are fair but also due to its reliable, careful service. However, if you have any problems with delivery, please contact us. Requests for Delayed Delivery. To delay receipt of an order due to sudden, difficult weather or another reason, please contact us immediately. If it isn't already shipped, we can generally place a hold for a few weeks. Then we will confirm the order's rescheduling with you the week before your rearranged shipping date. Additions to Orders. To make additions to an order that hasn't yet shipped, please place a second order before the Saturday noon (PST) shipping deadline. You need to add a message requesting this service in the "customer notes" section at the end of the second order. We combine your orders and provide a refund for any excess shipping charges. Our $25.00 minimum charge applies to any new order. Preordered Plant. Some plants in production but not ready to ship may be preordered. This is helpful for obtaining some of the most unusual and rare varieties that we grow and which sell out rapidly. It also allows gardeners in colder parts of the country to order early and receive their plants at the appropriate time for their location. Plants for preordering are clearly identified as is the first date they can be shipped. If you include currently available plants along with your preorder, we hold your entire order until the preordered items are ready for shipment. Please note: Preordered plants can't be ordered along with the Salvia Daily Deal plant. The Daily Deal is for immediate shipping only. Please note: Preordered plants cannot be ordered along with the Salvia Daily Deal plant. The Daily Deal is for immediate shipping only. Special Order Plants. Special Order plants are those that Flowers by the Sea Farm grows specially for you when you place an order for them. We maintain parent stock for their propagation, which takes some six weeks for most varieties. These are attractive & rare Salvias and other plants for which demand isn't constant or seasonal. For many of these, FBTS is the only source in the United States. For all the details about Special Order plants, visit this page. If you mix regularly available plants with Special Order items, we hold your entire order until the Special Order items are ready to ship. Packaging Materials. FBTS uses recycled expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam packing peanuts to keep the weight of shipping boxes -- and the cost of shipping -- as low as possible while providing maximum protection for plants. One way to repurpose packing peanuts is to donate them to local shipping stores, such as PakMail and UPS. For a full explanation of our packing choices, please read Ask Mr. Sage: Why FBTS Uses Foam Packing Peanuts & How to Reuse Them. Instructions Accompanying Orders. For more information about what to do when your plants arrive, please read
Development of Jame Sage ( Salvia x jamensis) hybrids is rapidly expanding to contain a broad range of flower colors from soft pastels to brighter, more intense colors that are closer to the primary and secondary ranges. An example is our new series of Jame Sages called Elk Rainbow Sages, which range from pale pastels to brights and bicolors depending on what Salvias crossed to create these hybrids. However, one unerring distinction between Jame Sages and other hybrid Salvias is that, whatever sages are in the S. x jamensis mix, both Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla) parentage is always involved. These species are native to the American Southwest and Mexico. The first ones collected were found as a genetic swarm near the tiny Mexican village of Jame (no s), located in Central Mexico where the eastern and western Sierra Madre mountains meet. Colors and Other Characteristics Flowers by the Sea is developing numerous varieties of Jame Sage, in solids and bicolors, for ongoing introduction as part of the Elk Rainbow Series. These include a wide range of soft and bright blues, reds and yellows as well as secondary colors, such as oranges and purples. The unusual flower colors -- including many pastels and bicolors -- of these sages are a major key to their identification. Also, similar to Autumn and Mountain Sage, the flowers of Jame Sage have a wide, skirt-like lower lip. However, other characteristics of appearance also require consideration. Although the foliage of Autumn and Mountain Sage vary somewhat in size and appearance, they are good clues when determining the parentage of many Jame Sages. However, some of these hybrids have foliage of different sizes, textures and colors (gray to deep green) than Autumn and Mountain Sage. The lineage of Jame Sage may include species such as Coahuila Sage ( S. coehuilensis), Mexican Sage (S. darcyi) and Canyon Sage (S. lycioides). It may also include crosses with hybrids, of which there are so many combinations that we can't detail them here. But the broad height range of Jame Sage -- from 12 to 48 inches -- differs from both these species. Some shorter varieties of Elk Rainbow Sages show promise as groundcovers due to their matting growth. Cultural Traits and Appeal to Wildlife A sage's habit of growth -- such as its cultivation needs and bloom season -- also help to identify it as Jame Sage versus another kind of Salvia hybrid. For example, Jame Sage hybrids are heat and drought tolerant as are Autumn and Mountain Sage. These hybrids love full sun similar to Autumn Sage. But like Mountain Sage, they tolerate more shade and moisture than Autumn Sage. As with the two central parent species, Jame Sage blooms from spring into fall and may slow down in the deep heat of summer. Jame Sage hybrids also match Autumn and Mountain Sage in drawing honeybees, hummingbirds and occasionally butterflies. Plant Adaptability and Guarantee of Quality We developed all of the Elk Rainbow Series at our farm on the Northern California coast near the town of Elk where Jame Sage grows beautifully. This ability to thrive in a relatively cool, often moist coastal climate versus the semi-arid mountain homelands of these hybrids says a lot about the adaptability of Jame Sages. Each Jame Sage hybrid that we select for development has Elk in its name. That way you know it is an FBTS cultivar and that it is a reliable repeat performer.
Editorial Credits Editor in Chief - Kermit Carter R&D - Vikki Carter Staff Writer - Alicia Rudnicki Editorial Support: Ruth de Jauregui Photographic permissions: The photos published in the Flowers by the Sea catalog and our Everything Salvias blog are the property of FBTS or photographers who have agreed to their publication in the FBTS catalog or blog. To use one of our photos, please contact FBTS requesting permission and citing the particular page or story in which the photo appears. The cartoon on the Shipping page is licensed from Conde Nast, Inc. All rights reserved. Regarding Medicinal Sages: Please remember that the information presented on this site is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.
Patenting and trademarking plants isn’t new, but it is an area of growing concern and confusion in the horticulture industry here and abroad. Most readers likely think of intellectual property (IP) as thought-related inventions, such as novels or new kinds of software. However, laws related to the protection of intellectual property have been extended, since 1930, to the discovery and development of new plant species, varieties and cultivars. The purpose of this paper is to briefly explain United States laws governing horticultural patents and trademarks and to demonstrate how Flowers by the Sea complies with those laws. It is common for growers, garden writers and others to misuse patents and trademarks. This misuse can result in confusion for growers as well as customers who want to make sure that they are buying the specific product they want. Misuse can also lead to costly litigation. So it is our intent, here, to help customers and anyone who grows horticultural plants -- such as flowering perennials -- to become familiar with the following matters: scientific naming of plants; terminology involved in trademarking and patenting; the difference between patents and trademarks; some historical dates related to plant patenting and trademarking; and how FBTS follows the laws. Scientific Naming of Plants Each plant has a scientific name consisting of two or more words. This structure is called binomial (“bi” for two and “nomial” for name) nomenclature. The structure of a plant name is called its nomenclature. The first two words in a scientific plant name are in Latin. The first one is the genus or group to which a plant belongs and the second is the species name within the group. An example is Salvia chamaedryoides, which is commonly known as Germander Sage. Additional words may provide the plant’s varietal name, cultivar name and, sometimes, the name of someone who first identified the plant. Sometimes the species name will be a Latin form of a plant explorer’s name as in Salvia greggii, in which “greggii” indicates that this particular species of sage was discovered by Josiah Gregg. 1 Variety. A plant referred to as a variety is one that is found in the wild and is related to a previously discovered species. To qualify as a variety, the plant’s seeds must “come true,” which means they must reliably reproduce copies of the parent plant. FBTS carries “Salvia chamaedryoides var. isochroma,” which is commonly known as Silver Germander Sage or Marine Blue Sage. The “var.” stands for variety. The variety name -- isochroma – is neither capitalized nor surrounded by single quote marks as in a cultivar name. Cultivar. This term means “cultivated variety,” so it is a plant developed in a garden or greenhouse. A cultivar may be an improved form of a single species or a hybrid of two species. It may be developed intentionally or discovered by accident in the greenhouse and then increased through various vegetative, asexual methods. An example of a cultivar is Salvia greggii ‘Playa Rosa’, commonly called Pink Beach Autumn Sage, which was developed by the Portland, Oregon, nursery Xera. Any plant sold under a particular scientific cultivar name is supposed to be propagated from the genetic material of its parent plant and be genetically identical. When horticultural growers discover new varieties or develop new cultivars, they select scientific varietal or cultivar names based on internationally accepted rules of naming and then establish the names by publishing them in their catalogs and in professional journals. 2 Additional Terminology Scientific name, variety and cultivar are all important terms involved in trademarking and patenting of plants. Here is some more key terminology. Nomenclature. This refers to the structure of a plant name, such as genus + species + varietal term or genus + species + cultivar name, which is used to classify a plant. International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. The ICNCP is an internationally agreed-upon code published as a book. It is the basis for scientific naming of horticultural plants worldwide. International Horticultural Congress. Originally called the International Botanical Congress, this organization meets every four years and rules on any changes in the ICNCP code. Sexual Propagation. This refers to propagation of plants by seed or tuber. Asexual Propagation. This form of plant reproduction involves rooting cuttings or cloning plant cells to create new plants. Most hybrids, except for F-1 types, are asexually propagated. Intellectual Property. In horticulture, the term intellectual property refers to the thought process that goes into creating registered trademark names for cultivars that growers introduce. It also applies to the research involved in developing the cultivars. Patenting is a tool to protect investment in research and development by allowing a plant developer to have a monopoly on sales of a plant. Trademark, Registered Trademark and Patent. These are legal tools that give plant developers certain licensing rights allowing them to charge licensing fees related to plant sales. All three terms are explained in the next section of this paper. Difference Between Trademarks and Patents Plant trademarks and patents go hand in hand, but are significantly different legal tools for legally enforcing rights to the naming and use of plants. Plant Trademark. A plant trademark is a legal right to a monopoly on a name or symbol affiliated with a particular plant cultivar, but not to the plant itself. Owners apply to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for ownership of the name. Anyone can sell the plant using its cultivar name, but may not be allowed to sell it using its registered trademark name. The symbol used to signify a grower’s intent to trademark a plant name with the USPTO is the superscript “™” following the trademarked name. This symbol doesn’t give the owner of the name legal rights to the name. To obtain a monopoly on the name, the grower needs to apply for a registered trademark, which is symbolized by “®” following the name. Although mistakes occur, trademark registered names are supposed to be different from variety and cultivar names. Suppose that FBTS discovers a new kind of Salvia greggii among its crops and gives it the cultivar name Salvia greggii ‘Marlene.’ Then suppose that we apply to the U.S. Patent and Trade Office to register a trademarked name for the plant. We aren’t supposed to ask for “Marlene® Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii ‘Marlene’).” If the USPTO were to accidentally allow us to register “Marlene,” the trademark would automatically become unenforceable and generic because the plant’s cultivar name is the same. Some growers get around this problem by giving a new plant a nonsense name. So upon discovering our fictional new plant, if we gave it a cultivar name of “Salvia greggii ‘R23wixwax’,” then we could register it as “Marlene® Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii ‘R23wixwax'). The genus (Salvia) and species (greggii) names are italicized in the scientific name, but not the cultivar name surrounded by single quote marks.The great likelihood would be that growers would want to sell the plant under the name “Marlene” which is recognizable and sounds pretty. However, growers can't sell plants under their registered, trademarked name without paying the trademark holder for a license to do so. Also, trademark holders usually won't license growers to use their registered name for a plant unless growers purchase the plant starts from them. The fictional Marlene® Autumn Sage still could run into trademarking trouble if FBTS were to make errors in how it used the name and enforced its use. Owners of registered trademarked plant names often misstate trademarked names and their licensees do as well. A trademark becomes invalid (generic) if the owner doesn’t correct the errors, such as by (1) accurately publishing the name throughout a catalog, (2) enforcing its correct use by licensees and (3) litigating when unlicensed growers use the name. If a registered plant name goes generic, anyone then may sell the plant under that name. Considering the fictional trademark again, a common error would be to write the name as “Marlene Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii ‘R23wixwax’®). The registration mark needs to follow “Marlene,” which is the trademarked part of the name. Sometimes other complications occur, such as multiple growers registering different names for the same cultivar. This can be confusing to customers who may buy all of these plants thinking that each is individual. A classic example is the rose cultivar Rosa 'Korlanum', which is trademarked under three names -- Surrey, Sommerwind and Vente D'ete. So some plant developers seek further protection of their brand through patenting. Ultimately, the most important thing to remember about trademarks is that they only provide ownership of a name, not genetic material -- the domain of plant patents.3 Plant Patent. In general, the recipients of plant patents gain ownership of some form of genetic material of a particular plant. Some plant patents concern a monopoly on sexual propagation (seed and seeded offspring of F-1 hybrids) and asexual tuber propagation of plants whereas others concern asexual reproduction (buds, cells and cuttings) excluding tubers. Also, when application for a plant patent is in progress – identified by the term Plant Patent Applied For (PPAF) – litigation may arise if the plant is asexually propagated by buds, cells or cuttings. Plant Breeders Rights (PBR) is patenting terminology used outside the United States and is sometimes used to establish international rights to a plant's genetic material. Applying for international PBR takes so many years that it is not a common practice in the U.S. Consequently, this paper does not delve into PBR. The USPTO grants all American plant patents of which there are three kinds. The two that primarily affect propagation of Salvias are PPA and PVPA patents. 4 • PPA patents, which are provided under the Plant Patent Act (35 U.S.C. 151),5 limit asexual (buds, cuttings or cells) propagation of plants, such as non- F1 hybrids that do not produce seed true to the parent plants. These include cultivars that are hybridized asexually rather than F1 seeded hybrids. • PVPA patents are allowed under the Plant Variety Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 2327).6 They limit propagation by sexual means (seed and seeded offspring of F-1 hybrids) as well as asexual reproduction by tubers of plants patented under the PVPA Act. The Federal Register notes that these plants are reproduced from “new, distinct, uniform, and stable” seed and tubers.7 A plant variety is not a cultivar. A variety is a group of plants -- found growing on its own in nature -- within a particular species of a genus and which retain the same characteristics when planted time and again from their seed or tubers. • PUP or plant utility patents 8 (227 U.S.P.Q. 443),9which became available through amendment of the benchmark 1980 Diamond v. Chakrabarty (447 U.S. 303)10 decision, which held that some forms of life are patentable as useful inventions. As yet, PUP patents have had little impact on the horticulture industry. They have been used in crop production of GMO food plants -- such as corn and soy -- which, for example, have been genetically altered to withstand certain herbicides. Art as Early Trademarks for Orchard Products Two of the most important thing to remember about plant patents, in general, are (1) they allow a single person or entity that discovers or develops a plant to own rights to the sale and use of that plant and (2) plants that are patented can only be sold by a grower or used by a researcher who is licensed by the holder of the patent. The roots of American trademarking and patenting of plants began to grow in the fruit industry of the mid-19th century. At that time, agricultural commerce was beginning to spread nationwide due to the growth of shipping on rivers and canals as well as by railroad. Due to serendipitous cross-pollination of orchards on the East Coast by birds, insects and wind, new species of apples, pears and stone fruits began to emerge. As nurseries discovered these varieties and began to develop them, the owners started becoming concerned about how to protect the products they had developed. Writing for Smithsonian Magazine, Daniel J. Kevles notes that there was worrisome confusion created by multiple names springing up for individual plants. As fruit varieties burgeoned, so did a confusing array of synonyms for the varieties. To protect their efforts and the reputation of their products, fruit developers turned to artists to render botanically accurate pictures of their fruit. This is a good