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For a while, when I looked at plants in catalogs, I thought that PVP was part of the name of the plant until I saw the same name without it. What does it mean?

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PVP stands for "Plant Variety Protection", which is a patent on the particular variety/cultivar that is sexually propagated. From this site:

What is PVP? Plant Variety Protection (PVP) is a patent on a sexually propagated plant variety. PVP protects rights of ownership for the people who develop and release a cultivar for a period of 20 years. At the same time, there is full disclosure of how the variety was developed, making information available to anyone who wants it so that additional genetic advances can be made.

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Also from that site: Can growers save their own seed if they are growing a PVP protected variety? Yes. Growers can collect and save the seed from a PVP protected variety for their own future planting without violation of the law. Growers may not sell PVP seed without permission from the PVP holder. –  bstpierre Jan 9 '12 at 14:52
    
@bstpierre Good to know. –  J. Musser Jan 10 '12 at 2:04

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