There are lots of people in this world, with different ways of looking at things, who desire different things from a plant naming system. There are many different plant namings systems, each with their own set of rules and originating organization.
First systematic naming system, developed by Carl Linnaeus, derived from writings of Aristotle, Conrad Gessner, and several other early pioneers in the field. Carl Linnaeus, originally a poet, became an avid naturalist, who had vision and eventually synthesized the beginnings of our current binomial naming system, used for botany, not so much for horticulture, though it is the foundation for even horticultural names. Supported and developed as the ICBN (International Code of Botanical Nomenclature) by the International Botanical Congress (IBC).
Second; is the primary naming convention to help administer and promulgate rules for names in horticulture. It is called ICNCP (International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants) developed by the (ISHS) International Society for Horticultural Science. Primarily responsible for developing what is known as the cultivar naming system.
Third: Grex naming systems. Initially orchids, though composed of many genera of flowering plants, were given special attention from the early days of their collection and attention by horticulture. They were tracked and followed in the creation of their hybrids by use of a grex registering system, akin to a pedigree. More recently there are several other groups of plants, Nepenthes and Sarracenia, included, where similar grex naming systems have been proposed and attempts are being made to implement them.
Fourth: Plant Patents. In many countries asexually propagated plants can be awarded a patent. Patents can grant very valuable exclusive rights to exclude others from asexually reproducing, selling, or using the plant so reproduced for a period of twenty years.
Fifth: There is the Plant Variety Protection Act (1970), amended in 1994.
Sixth: Here is an excerpt from an article about plant trademark names --> "When is a plant name not a plant name? The sad answer is more often than not in our current world, where marketing comes first and accuracy second. The current plant naming trend often violates the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP), US Trademark Law, and occasionally the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules concerning deceptive business practices."
Seventh: There may be others that I am not yet aware of.
I provide the above references, in case I overlook some of the pertinent details when I attempt to synthesize them into a guide to modern plant naming. I certainly agree with anyone who feels that keeping track of plant names and the different systems in use to name plants is or can be confusing. It is, and doesn't appear to be on the verge of self-clarity. This is my attempt to help sort some of it out.
This first post is just to give a, "heads up". My subsequent posts to this thread will contain my attempt at synthesis of the plant naming systems.
++ One of my pet peeves is for those who claim the existing naming systems do not meet their personal needs/expectations/desires, yet they seem to demonstrate that they don't even understand the naming systems that currently exist. Whenever I read their postings I can see that they often make little effort to use the existing naming conventions. Some seem to be creating their own issues. I've noticed that even among some advocates, for example, of the Nepenthes grex naming system (an extension of the usual plant naming systems), a failure to understand the basic ICBN and ICNCP naming systems, an understanding of which, is still required to properly utilize the grex naming system. I realize the different naming systems can be difficult to understand, but a basic understanding of them seems essential. I am going to make a concerted effort to help us all to understand the issue of plant naming more completely. By developing a better understanding we may find some of the many things we desire in a naming system, already in the systems that exist.