Plant growing criteria

You need to grow your plant variety in a way that demonstrates it meets the distinct, uniform and stable (DUS) criteria.

Demonstrating 'distinctness'

You'll need to demonstrate your new variety is clearly distinguishable from the most similar existing varieties and therefore, distinct from all varieties.

To do this, you'll need to conduct a growing trial. This involves you growing your variety and the most similar varieties of common knowledge, and comparing them to each other.

Which other varieties do I grow for comparison?

We'll work with your nominated Qualified Person (QP) to make sure the right comparison varieties are included in the growing trial.

What if my variety is an Australian native species?

You'll need to submit a specimen to the Australian Cultivar Registration Authority (ACRA) as part of the application process.

Once you've submitted your specimen, you'll need to complete the Confirmation of submission of a satisfactory specimen to the herbarium form and submit it via online services.

We can't finalise your application until the ACRA process is complete.

Demonstrating 'uniformity'

A variety is deemed uniform if it's shown to be sufficiently uniform in its relevant characteristics. During the growing trial, we'll work with your QP to assess:

  • Visual characteristics (e.g. colour, patterns)
  • Measured characteristics (e.g. length, height).

We'll then review the amount of variation. Some amount of variability is allowed depending on the method of propagation. The specific details for judging uniformity for your trial will be agreed up front with your QP.

Demonstrating 'stability'

A variety is stable if its relevant characteristics remain unchanged after repeated propagation or, in the case of a particular cycle of propagation, at the end of each cycle.

Varieties propagated from seed need to demonstrate stability through two consecutive generations (or cycles) in the comparative trial. If necessary, stability can be demonstrated in a separate trial.

Note that if a variety is to be vegetatively propagated and has been shown to be uniform, a demonstration of stability isn't usually required.

Get advice from your QP
We've provided general advice on DUS criteria. For advice specific to your plant variety and growing trial, we recommend that you speak to your Qualified Person.  

For further reading, testing guidelines for more than 300 types of plants are available from the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV).