HORTAX Members

Members are invited to contribute to Hortax publications and website content, to participate in the discussion of taxonomic issues and to contribute to the projects which Hortax launches from time to time.  If you are interested in becoming a member of Hortax, please use the Contact form.

Koen Camelbeke

‍Koen Camelbeke holds a PhD degree in biological sciences – botany from the Ghent University in Belgium. For this degree Koen studied the morphology and taxonomy of the sedge genus Scleria in the neotropics. Koen worked at the Botany Department of the Ghent University for 7 years before moving to Wespelaar in 2002 where he became director-curator of the Arboretum Wespelaar.

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‍Koen has been instrumental in making the Arboretum Wespelaar a first class collection of hardy, woody ornamentals and in opening this private collection to the public. The Arboretum is specialized in the genera Acer, Magnolia, Rhododendron (species and F1 hybrids) and Stewartia. Moreover, there is a good collection of Fagus, Betula, Carpinus, Tilia, Quercus, etc. In his function of director-curator of an arboretum, Koen is an active user and very interested in horticultural taxonomy.

Koen is active in the Belgian Dendrological Society (Board member and editor of the yearbook) and he is secretary of the Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta in Belgium. He is also responsible for the database “Remarkable Trees from Belgium” which contains almost 30.000 accessions. Koen has written several botanical and horticultural articles on different topics such as Magnolia, Stewartia, Hamamelidaceae, creating and maintaining a dendrological collection, etc.

Wespelaar Arboretum

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Dawn Edwards

‍Dawn has been working as a botanist at the Royal Horticultural Society Wisley since 2006 with a focus on Horticultural taxonomy. She is one of the editors of RHS Plant Finder and was one of the editors of the 8th edition of The Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs.

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‍Current research projects investigate the identity of garden escapes that have become or are suggested to show potential to become invasive and also the origins of putative hybrids, particularly where introduced garden plants are hypothesised to have hybridised with British and Irish native plants. Dawn studied Botany at the University of Reading, UK undertaking undergraduate and PhD research on Aspalathus and other genistoid legumes.

Royal Horticultural Society

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Gert Fortgens

‍A graduate of the Horticultural College at Boskoop, in his professional career Gert was a practical researcher focussed on the introduction, correct nomenclature and assessment of garden values of perennials and woody ornamentals (Deutzia, Lonicera, Ligustrum, Philadelphus, Ribes sanguineum) at the Research Station at Boskoop. Gert also was instrumental in compiling a list of more than 10,000 accurate names of perennials that is now accepted as the nursery trade standard throughout western Europe and North America.

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‍Since 1996 Gert has held the position of director and curator of Trompenburg Gardens & Arboretum in Rotterdam. Dating back to 1820 this former country seat, laid out in the romantic English landscape style, now holds  famous collections of various trees, shrubs and perennials as well as succulents in a greenhouse.

He is currently chair of the Trials Committee of the Royal Boskoop Nurserymen Association, a member of the Science and Education Committee of the International Dendrology Society (IDS) and a board member of the International Oak Society.

Gert is a guest lecturer in several countries in Europe as well as in the United States and Canada. The subjects of these lectures cover a wide range of subjects in ornamental horticulture.

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Rafaël Govaerts

‍Rafaël has been working on the World Checklist programme since 1988. This large-scale ground-breaking programme brings together the latest published taxonomy of seed plants. The World checklist of selected plant families (WCSP) is the online presence of the programme and currently provides the accepted name, full synonymy and global distribution of nearly half a million names in 173 plant families.

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‍This programme has been widely influential in stimulating research, supporting conservation and providing baseline data for other projects like the Plant List, Catalogue of life and eMonocot. As well as providing evidence based statistics on the number of species. The data is also widely used in horticulture. It is the baseline for e.g. the Orchid register and the preferred taxonomy for horticultural journals like the American Orchid Society journal.

​Rafaël has been working at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew since 1994, initiating and growing the World checklist programme. He has a special interest in weeping cultivars, both in the names as saving rare cultivars. He is a member of the SSC tree conservation group and has published papers on both weeping cultivars as well as being involved in producing the BGCI threatened tree lists.

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Laurence Hatch

Laurence has media authored: Hatch's Cultivars of Woody Plants (4000 page encyclopedia), Hatch's Perennials (2600 pages), HITS (House, Interior, Tropical, and Succulent) Plants, Pendula: Weeping Trees, BIOH (Biographies in Ornamental Horticulture), Hosta One, International Register of Ornamental Plant Cultivars: Woody Plants Genera A-Z, GPIK (Garden Plant ID Keys) and numerous videos.

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He is co-founder of:

New Plant Page (website, 1993-2009) - first ever website describing new ornamental cultivars, their nursery sources, and history

Open Registration of Cultivars (OROC)International Coleus Society (ICS)

Genus Central @ Cultivar.Org (New Ornamentals Society).

He was educated at:

AAS, State University of New York at Farmingdale, Nursery Management

BS, Cornell University, Ornamental Horticulture

MS, North Carolina State University, Plant Taxonomy

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Marco Hoffman

‍Marco is taxonomist and DUS researcher on ornamentals and fruit at Naktuinbouw in The Netherlands. He is responsible for testing new varieties of ornamentals for Plant Breeders’ Rights. (e.g. Phalaenopsis).  He is also responsible for the official Dutch variety register of fruit and he is secretary of the variety registers of forest trees. He is also member of the editorial board of Dendroflora, from 1999 to 2014 as an Editor in chief and since 2015 as chairman. He is also secretary of the IUBS Commission for the nomenclature of Cultivated Plants.

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For already more than 15 years Marco is the editor of the international List of Names of woody plants and the List of Names of perennials. These important standards for the nursery industry are edited under auspices of the European Nurserymen Association (ENA) and The Internationale Stauden Union (ISU).

Since 2015 he is also working on Search-plant, a new portal that gives you access to various databases with information on varieties of ornamental plants. In the Netherlands Marco serves as an expert on nomenclatorial questions for the ornamental and fruit industry. He gives many lectures and writes many articles on nomenclature, registration and botany.

Marco studied biology at Wageningen University and worked there until 2014 as a botanist/taxonomist.

Naktuinbouw

Search Plant

International Plant Names

Dendroflora

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Natalie Iwanycki

As Herbarium Curator and Field Botanist, Natalie oversees the curation and management of the Royal Botanical Garden’s collection of wild and cultivated plant specimens. She has a strong interest in the taxonomy and nomenclature of wild and cultivated flora and has been involved in developing policies and procedures to ensure that best and consistent practices in naming and labelling plants are applied to the living and non-living collections at RBG.

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‍She provides plant identification services and training to professionals and also conducts in situ and ex situ conservation research on Ontario’s rare and endangered flora. Natalie is the chair of the American Public Gardens Association’s Plant Nomenclature and Taxonomy Section.

Royal Botanical Gardens

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Eike Jablonski

‍Eike is lecturer for dendrology and nursery management at the Luxembourg College for Agriculture, horticultural department (LTA) in Ettelbruck, and also responsible for the woody collections and the propagation department.

In addition to his 20 years experience as a lecturer, Eike is also active as ISHS ICRA co-registrar for the genus Quercus. His interests include cultivated plant taxonomy and nomenclature, with a main interest in genera of woody plants, especially the genera Quercus Tilia, Sambucus, Spiraea and Crataegus. He is currently building up the “lost cultivar project” with the aim to search and save ornamental woody plants which are no longer in cultivation or are thought to be extinct. Eike is currently the Vice-president of the German Dendrology Society, Council Member of the International Dendrology Society and serving on the Taxonomy Committee of the International Oak Society.

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He writes a regular column on cultivated plants in Luxembourg, is author of many articles in several magazines and journals and contributed to major German works on dendrology, such as Enzyklopädie der Holzgewächse, Fitschen Gehölzflora and Enzyklopädie der Gartengehölze.

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Roy Lancaster

Roy Lancaster is a renowned plantsman, plant explorer, broadcaster and writer. He is one of the authors of the Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs and has recorded some reminiscences of searching for plants in Asia in two volumes, Plantsman’s Paradise: Travels in China and A Plantsman in Nepal. He continues to write a regular column for The Garden.

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Roy Lancaster is a renowned plantsman, plant explorer, broadcaster and writer. He is one of the authors of the Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs and has recorded some reminiscences of searching for plants in Asia in two volumes, Plantsman’s Paradise: Travels in China and A Plantsman in Nepal. He continues to write a regular column for The Garden.

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Annette Lepple

Annette has a diploma in garden design and is an award-winning photographer and keen botanist and horticulturist.

​She is based in Switzerland and France where she works as a designer, freelance writer and photographer.

She also writes garden books.

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Ulrike Lohwasser

As taxonomist of the federal ex situ genebank of the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) Gatersleben in Germany, Ulrike is involved in the management and long term maintenance of genebank accessions. She has strong interest in the botanical determination as well as morphological, biochemical and molecular description of cultivated Middle-European crops and their wild relatives.

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Ulrike has studied biology in Germany with the focus on plant systematics. Diploma and PhD thesis were about taxonomical studies of Rumex acetosella L. and Ranunculus auricomus L., respectively. Coming from wild plants Ulrike moved in 2001 to Gatersleben and with that to cultivated plants. Today she is working as a senior scientist in the Gatersleben genebank.

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Tony Lord

‍Tony was Gardens Adviser for the National Trust until 1989, before going freelance and working as a horticultural author and photographer. He also acts as technical consultant and editor, dealing with books on plants and gardens for numerous publishers. He was sole editor of The Plant Finder for its first ten editions (1987-1996) and is now Consultant Editor in its current incarnation as The RHS Plant Finder.

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‍He finds the problems of applying the codes of nomenclature consistently to a list of 70,000 plant names fascinating and frustrating! Although striving to achieve names that are as correct as is practically and pragmatically possible for such a diverse range of plants, there are instances in which some of the articles of the codes are not clear and are hard to apply, sometimes even risking destabilising well-known plant names.

His committee memberships include: RHS Floral A; RHS Trials Committee; (Chairman) RHS Floral Trials Subcommittee; RHS Reginald Cory Memorial Cup Committee; RHS Advisory Panel on Nomenclature and Taxonomy; Gardens Panel, National Trust. He is also a Vice-President of the Hardy Plant Society.

RHS Plant Finder

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Kevin McGinn

‍Kevin McGinn took up his current position as a Horticultural Taxonomist at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in February 2016. In this role, he will largely focus on performing taxonomic verifications for trees growing at Kew, Wakehurst Place and The Yorkshire Arboretum, to ensure accurate labelling of the collections.

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‍Prior to this, Kevin studied for a PhD in Plant Ecology based at Lincoln University, New Zealand, in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Wageningen. His research examined how the success of invasive plant species can be influenced by interactions with mutualistic and antagonistic soil-borne organisms. Kevin also holds an MSc in Plant Diversity from the University of Reading (2010), and was supported by the Royal Horticultural Society’s Fellowship during his studies. Being a keen gardener and field botanist, Kevin has broad interests in plants from both a horticultural and ecological perspective.

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Leo Miedema

Leo Miedema  studied Agri Sciences at Utrecht, after which he worked for 15 years as the information officer for Dutch growers of summerflowers and bulbflowers. In September 2001 he joined VKC to become the registrar of ornamentals for the commercial market, the Dutch Flower Auctions and in 2016 in a joint venture for Hollambra (Brazil) too. 

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Leo is responsible for the name check of new cultivars and the database Plantscope. In 2013 VKC became Floricode and since 2014 he has been responsible for the coding system used by the Flower Auctions as well as the Global Standard barcoding under correct plant names. 

He writes short articles for Dutch florists about novelties and  became an expert in (commercial) nomenclature in the ornamental industry. For Leo, it is important that trade is under the correct scientific name following the international  or EU rules for cultivated plants and trademark law.

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Lottie Nilsson

Lottie has been working for the co-operative society, E-planta, in Sweden since 2014 with marketing, product development and administration of the E-planta brand. She has a master's degree in horticulture and has worked in the nursery industry with propagation, cultivation, purchase and sales for the last 13 years.

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E-planta is a brand for plants selected for the Swedish climate. Today the brand has over 200 varieties; trees, shrubs, conifers, climbers, fruit trees and berries. The “E” in the brand name E-planta stands for elite (= plants with superior properties).E-plants is the result of a whole system that includes selection, testing and introduction of the plants. E-planta is a quality assurance and guarantees that if you buy plants with the “E”, the plant is selected for the Swedish climate, tested in the Swedish climate, produced in Sweden (rules for how you should  grow – controlled by the department of agricultural in Sweden), true to type and tested for diseases. Some varieties are also protected by plant breeders rights (PBR) and trademark.

E-Planta

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Daniel Guillot Ortiz

Biologist, botanist and Ph.D., Daniel is the  author of the doctoral thesis "Some aspects of the Valencian ornamental flora" (Institute Cavanilles of Biodiversity, University of Valencia, Spain), and more than two hundred scientific articles and nine monographs, focused mainly on the study of the ornamental and invasive spanish flora, and in the study and cataloguing of varieties of plants cultivated in this country in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th.

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Daniel is also a member of the editorial board of the scientific magazine Bouteloua, dedicated to the study of the ornamental flora.

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Tim Pyner

Tim Pyner is a keen amateur botanist and grower interested in most groups of plants ranging from angiosperms through to bryophytes. He is particularly interested in and enthusiastic about ferns and lycophytes, collecting, cultivating and studying many species of cold and semi-hardy ferns in his Essex garden. 

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Tim also experiments with other rare plants from around the world and trials many species originating from warmer areas. He is very interested in the taxonomy, classification and the correct identification and naming of garden plants especially hardy fern species but has little or no interest in cultivars, human created hybrids or plants bred for the mass market.

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Todd Rounsaville

Todd Rounsaville is the curator of the Polly Hill Arboretum, an organisation devoted to sharing knowledge of plants and scientific procedure through research, plant conservation and exploration.  Todd holds a PhD in Biology/Forest Ecology from University of Kentucky and a Masters in Horticultural Science from NC State University.

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He has previously worked for the State Botanical Garden of KY, Juniper Level Botanic Gardens, The Scott Arboretum, The U.S. National Arboretum, and the Arnold Arboretum. He is particularly interested in areas where horticulture intersects with community ecology (invasion dynamics), ex situ conservation, and taxonomy.

Polly Hill Arboretum

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Peter Thurman

Peter is a:​     

Fellow & Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture     

Fellow of the Arboricultural Association     

Chartered Member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters     

Chartered Member of the Society for the Environment     

Lecturer and Examiner at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew [School of Horticulture]     

Lecturer and Tutor at The London College of Garden Design [based at RBG Kew].

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Luca Tosetto

Since childhood, Luca has always been interested in nature and plants, spending days in his garden and hiking all around the countryside where he lives. As time went on, he started to study botany (in particular taxonomy) as an autodidact, and later on achieved a strong knowledge of the wild flora of Northern Italy, thanks to many field trips together with older botanists, who taught him a great deal.

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Although he chose a different career, taking a masters degree in Automation Engineering, his interest in botany remains very strong.  He  collects plants for his personal collection, which now has about one thousand species, from aquatic to succulent and carnivorous plants. Luca hopes to increase his knowledge of cultivated plants and their taxonomy through membership of Hortax.

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Tim Upson

Tim has been curator of Cambridge University Botanic Garden since 1997 with responsibility for its 39 acres and collection of 8,000 species. A graduate of the Kew Diploma course, he later undertook an MSc and then PhD in Plant Systematics at the University of Reading. He has a special interest in the Lamiaceae and particularly the genera Rosmarinus and Lavandula, including their horticultural taxonomy; he published a monograph on the latter with Susyn Andrews in 2004 as part of the Botanical Magazine Monograph series. He also contributed to the special part issue of Curtis's Botanical Magazine on Cambridge University Botanic Garden published in 2006 as well as various accounts to The European Garden Flora. Tim currently serves on the Board of Directors of PlantNetwork, as vice-chairman on the Plant Conservation Committee of Plant Heritage and is an editorial consultant for The Plantsman.

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Tim also has a keen interest in plant conservation, the Mediterranean and island floras and has undertaken several plant-collecting expeditions in relation to his research. More recently he has led botanical tours to various parts of the Mediterranean, China and Chile. Each year he helps to run the University's field course to Portugal.

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David Victor

After managing an international software company for some years, David retired in 1991 to indulge his other passion, plants.  Over the following 20 years or so, he developed a two hectare garden from scratch, mainly devoted to plants grown from wild collected seed.  Major themes in the garden included Clematis, Geranium, Iris and Paeonia, accompanied by flowering shrubs, such as Cotoneaster, Deutzia, Lonicera and Philadelphus.

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Always having an interest in the written word, he spent several years as Editor of the Southern African Bulb Group and recently became Editor for the Geraniaceae Group.  The latter role has reflected his long term interest in the Geraniaceae, which has also been echoed in his role as ICRA for Geranium and Erodium: this role has now run for some ten years, a period of explosive growth of interest in the former genus. 

His interest in the Geraniaceae is also reflected in his National Collection of xerophytic Pelargonium which, unlike most collections of this genus, exclusively consists of species plants. Accorded Scientific Status by Plant Heritage, David uses the collection as the basis of his research activities with academics and enthusiasts elsewhere in the world.  He has written and spoken extensively on this subject in the UK and in South Africa.

Over the past twenty years or so David has also been involved in a number of management roles in plant societies in the United Kingdom.  These have included being Chairman and President of the Saxifrage Society, Chairman of the British Clematis Society and having similar roles in specialist groups for Geranium and Peony of the Hardy Plant Society

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Freek Vrugtman

Born in the Netherlands, Freek apprenticed and worked as nurseryman and plant propagator prior to emigrating to Canada in 1952. Work at the Morden Agricultural Experiment Station in Manitoba, the Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa, and the University of British Columbia (UBC) Botanical Garden exposed him to the scientific aspects of cultivated plants, including the first edition of the ICNCP. 

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In 1963 Freek graduated from UBC with a BSA, majoring in ornamental horticulture and plant taxonomy. Postgraduate studies at Cornell University (MS in botany and horticulture) culminated in oversea fellowships in the Netherlands (Wageningen), UK and Germany, establishing long-lasting professional associations and friendships in those countries.

From 1968 until retirement in 1992 Freek was Curator of Collections at Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG), Burlington, Ontario, Canada. During those years he developed working relationships with the ISHS International Commission Nomenclature and Registration and the IUBS International Commission for the Nomenclature of Cultivated Plants. The International Symposium on the Taxonomy of Cultivated Plants, 1988, in Nanjing, China, opened the opportunity to conduct a short-course on nomenclature of cultivated plants and the Cultivated Code at the Jiangsu Institute of Botany on invitation of Dr He Shanan. 

In 1975 Freek succeeded John C. Wister as International Lilac Registrar (ICRA Syringa), a volunteer job he continues in retirement as RBG Curator Emeritus.

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Rupert Wilson

After gaining his first degree in Botany from the University of Reading, Rupert remained in the Herbarium of the School of Plant Sciences for 13 years, where he developed his database skills, putting the Herbarium online. In 2001, he moved to the Royal Horticultural Society Garden at Wisley, where he took over running the RHS Horticultural Database, expanding his role in 2005 to cover management of all horticultural data within the Science at the RHS. Rupert maintains a keen interest in evolving technologies and their possible applications in botany and horticulture. In addition to his work for the RHS Rupert is a board member on Plant Network.

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Jin Xiaobai

Dr Jin Xiaobai is a botanist and horticulturist, professor emeritus and former deputy director of the Beijing Botanical Garden, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.​He is engaged in research in plant anatomy, embryology, conservation biology,  horticulture in relation to plant cultivation, taxonomy, germplasm collection and utilization. He is also involved in planning for botanical garden construction, policy development and public education.  Xiaobai has promoted the application of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants in China and has made proposals towards revisions of the Code since the 1980’s.

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His other activities and memberships include:​  

- Membership of various botanical, horticultural and translators’ organisations and academic journal editorial committees in China   

- Adviser to the International Cultivar Registration Authorities for Prunus mume and for Bamboos.   

- Membership of the IUBS (International Commission for the Nomenclature of Cultivated Plants. 

- Membership of the ISHS (International Society for Horticultural Science) Special Commission for Cultivar Registration.

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Alain Van Ghyseghem
Barry Tobin
David Goodfellow
Emily James
Forhad Ahmed
Johan van Scheepen
John Clemens
Nadia Talent
Nicolas Ruch
Tim Baxter
Will Ritchie