Registration Overview

International Cultivar Registration Authority for Peonies

New Cultivar Registration


The American Peony Society serves as the International Cultivar Registration Authority (ICRA) for Peonies, having been appointed to this role in 1974 by The International Society for Horticultural Science (  Supervising nomenclature and publishing new registrations are the primary concerns, but there are other benefits to the registration process.  Among these is that the history of the peony is preserved, and in some cases where such information was provided, the genealogy of certain cultivars can be determined.  The APS maintains a Registry of Peony Cultivars on its website which includes the cultivar name, originator, group name, date of introduction, description and image.  It is searchable on any one of the first four items, and freely available for access to the public. New registrations are added to this registry as they are processed, and are also published in paper print form as required by the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP).

Anyone may register a peony. Guidelines apply and these can be found in the ICNCP which is published by the ISHS, periodically updated and revised, and available from them at  Articles available in the Additional Resources section below may be of particular interest to potential registrants.

Question: What is a CULTIVAR?

A plant variety that has been produced in cultivation and given a unique identifying name. Cultivar names are helpful to many disciplines in horticulture, including gardeners. Each cultivar should have its own unique characteristics and the associated name allows them to be easily identified by a broad range of people worldwide.

Question: What is a TRADEMARK NAMED peony?

Buyer Beware… As ICRA we do not have any jurisdiction over Trademark names. These are names assigned to a peony for marketing purposes. The originator of a peony may have sold propagation and marketing rights to a company, which in turn wants to protect their investment with a unique name to which they have exclusive rights, and that's what trademark names are used for. The peony in question may or may not have been registered, but overall the process described above is entirely above board. What is not to be condoned is the simple renaming of a peony .