Orchid Merit Awards

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Care and Culture, Classification

The system of giving awards to particularly commendable plants was started in England by the Manchester and North of England Orchid Society and followed shortly thereafter by he Royal Horticultural Society.

Since 1889 the RHS has had an Orchid Committee which makes recommendations for awards to the Council. The importance of the cultivar nickname in an orchid name becomes apparent, as awards are given to individual plants. Awards are usually abbreviated to just the first letter of each word and the name of the body which makes the Award, e.g. FCC/RHS (First Class Certificate/Royal Horticultural Society), AM/AOS (Award of Merit/American Orchid Society). They are usually written after the orchid name and followed by the year of the award; e.g. Lycaste Wyld Fire ‘Blaze of Tara’ AM/RHS 1988.

There are now more than 40 orchid societies and associations in the Handbook on Orchid Nomenclature and Registration.

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