Cropping and horticulture

Plant, crop and cultivar names

Plant species, subspecies and hybrid names should be displayed as described in Plant, algae and fungi names – for example:

Triticum spp.     cotton     almonds

Salix aurita L. × S. caprea L.

See Plant cultivars and breeding material for how to present cultivar names.

Did you know? In Australia, sweetpotato – also know as yam or kumara – is 1 word (not sweet potato) to distinguish this root vegetable from potato. Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) belongs to the family Convolvulaceae and is a storage root (an enlarged root). Potato (Solanum tuberosum), on the other hand, belongs to the family Solanaceae and is a tuber (a swollen underground stem or shoot). Australian Sweetpotato Growers Inc has further information about sweetpotato.

Return to top


Use slashes rather than hyphens or dashes to denote crop rotations:

wheat/chickpea   or   wheat/wheat/chickpea   not   wheat-chickpea

Do not use initial capitals for common names of crops, including names indicating resistance (or tolerance) or time of planting:

bearded wheat     durum wheat     spring wheat     winter wheat     salt-tolerant wheat

Return to top

Soil preparation and seeding

Australian conventions and resources

A good explanation of the use of soil preparation terms in Australia is given by the Victorian No-Till Farmers Association.

Take care with terminology about tillage and seeding methods – for example:

  • multiple tillage – multiple passes of digging, raking, etc; this was the conventional method of cultivation
  • reduced tillage – 1 till pass before seeding with a full cut (creation of a continuous trench for seeding and then infilling)
  • direct drill – 1-pass seeding with full cut
  • no till – 1-pass seeding with a narrow/knife point with less than full cut
  • zero till – 1-pass seeding with disc openers (a machine that creates clods of soil to cover the seeds).

Use a hyphen for any of these terms when used in compound adjectives before the noun:

reduced-tillage methods     zero-till farming

but no hyphen when the compound adjective is after the noun, or the term is used as a noun:

when we changed our methods to reduced tillage …     What is no till?

Return to top

Wheat classification

Australian conventions and resources

The Wheat Classification Council establishes and maintains Australia’s wheat variety classification system, and defines common wheat classes and their quality attributes.

Nine classes are used to describe Australian wheat, based on seed-coat colour, grain hardness, species and overall rating. Each class has an established short form. Use initial capitals for the names:

Australian Hard (AH)     Australian Prime Hard (APH)     Australian Premium White (APW)     Australian Premium White Noodle (APWN)     Australian Standard White (ASW)     Australian Premium White T (APWT)     Australian Standard White Noodle (ASWN)     Australian Soft (ASFT)     Australian Durum (ADR)

Proposals for new wheat varieties to be included in a class are submitted to the Australian Wheat Board for assessment and approval. Approved variety names also take initial capitals:

Ellison     Sunvale     Westonia     Rosella

Return to top


Australian conventions and resources

Wine Australia lists the major wine grape varieties grown in Australia.

The Australian Grape and Wine Authority regulates wine labelling and lists permitted terms, including regional names, traditional terms and quality descriptors.

Although viticulturists refer to wine grape types as ‘varieties’, they are actually cultivars. For formal references to the cultivar, follow the general rule for cultivars (see Plant cultivars and breeding material), including using an initial capital:

Vitis vinifera ‘Shiraz’

Vitis vinifera ‘Carbernet Sauvignon’

However, a type of grape can be referred to by only the cultivar name:

Both Shiraz and Sauvignon grapes were used ...

Wines named after the predominant grape variety (cultivar) are called ‘varietals’. This applies to most Australian wine, and wine made in other ‘New World’ countries. Such wine names take initial capitals (eg Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir). Wines made in the ‘Old World’ (eg France, Spain) are named after the region they are from (eg Bordeaux).

Return to top

User login

... or purchase now

An individual subscription is only A$60 per year

Group and student discounts may apply

Australian manual of scientific style Start communicating effectively