Plant Breeders' Rights (PBR) are a form of intellectual property legislation designed to protect new plant varieties.
These rights allow the original breeder to register a plant as their own property if it meets certain criteria.
Once PBRs have been granted, the owner will license companies to grow these varieties and collect a royalty on each plant sold.
Plants may be protected under UK Plant Breeders Rights or under European Plant Variety Rights. Plants with PBR cannot be propagated by anyone other than those given a licence by the PBR owner.
In the Plant Finder we have indicated which plant cultivars we know to have PBRs. This is not exhaustive as the list of plants with PBRs is constantly evolving and there is no definitive UK database of botanical plant names with PBRs that we have found. We are not alone in finding this frustrating!
If you have a plant that you know to have PBRs, and you do not have a licence to grow it commercially, you should not propagate it for swap or sale.
However, if you are in doubt about the identity of your plant and whether it might be a PBR cultivar, then you can always list the plant against the genus with the name 'variety unknown' (e.g. Hosta 'variety unknown') and there should not be a problem.
Plants that are species rather than varieties (i.e. plant names completely in italics) cannot be registered for PBRs and may be freely propagated for swap or sale.