Seed and Bulb Excanges, some Comments

aaron floden
Fri, 14 Jul 2006 12:27:25 PDT
>Because, one, if it is that rare and there are that 
>many people purchasing the seeds to grow them, then
it >would seem that sooner rather than later, there
would >be a bunch of people around the world growing
and then >further propagating that species. And two, I
find it >hard to imagine a scenario where all the seed
of a >species was being collected and yet no one was
>furthering the increase of the plants in captivity
and >the species thereby went extinct. (Which is just
a >twist on my first reason.)

--- Lee Poulsen <> wrote:


 Having observed the many dead plants in the K.S.U
herbarium and working with them everyday I find it
hard to see the need in collecting 20-30 plants from
the same locality over the course of as many years for
scientific reasons(dead plants), i.e a Zigadenus
population near here that has been collected from 40+
times the past 80 years. Some of our files have 100+
specimens for various things, even those plants with
small ranges. 

 Granted the only rare one that I have had much
interest in is Asclepias meadii, and it is limited to
7 collections ,only one made within the past 60 years.
Most of the populations of this plant are protected
and have been studied for 30+(?) years. Most of these
studies involve it's lack want/ability to procreate
sexually. But, some do produce limited numbers of
seed. Yet the plant is still in Federally Endangered.
Had a few of those seed pods gotten into the right
hands (Ellen Hornig could do a fine job!) 30 years ago
the plant would be spread throughout gardens around
the Us or the world.
 I searched several counties for this spring was
Allium perdulce. I spent over 36(or more) hours of my
time finding locations in the herbarium, Frasers
papers, and just searching suitable habitat. Most of
the original collections (1930's) were in Cloud County
which is now 90% covered by agriculture land. I found
one small population over the course of 400 miles
driving and three days time! Only one of his original
locations was still in existence on a sandy hillside
left uncultivated for cattle. 
 I am currently working on a single population of
Dirca, a genus that has 3 species(yes 3, no one seems
to have heard about mexicana.) These Kansas plants key
out to occidentalis. The property they grow on, a
public arboretum, is fortunately protected. But even
they have destroyed parts of the population by
bull-dozing pathways through it. They have
successfully destroyed a small colony of Collinisia
verna, one of maybe 7 in Kansas. I have been
collecting seed of the Dirca and trying to get it out
to people before it is placed on the federal
extinction program. Limiting access to plants is the
key, not limiting reasonable access to seed for
cultivation. I tried to get one branch of occidentalis
for a voucher and DNA work this spring from California
but never even got a reply. This was from my work

 If someone had the time to make a list of plants
actually extirpated by gardeners, and one of plants
extirpated by construction, agriculture, urban sprawl,
medecine, ethobotanical reasons, and natural causes, I
am sure that the latter one would run far longer than
the the first. Then make a list of those plants saved
by someone with a keen interest in plants. 

  Cultivation + propagation = conservation

 I would prefer label data down to at least county,
province, etc. level if possible. Most botanical
journals give out very little location data now. Most
herbaria that have online databases give no
information besides state.


 Manhattan, KS



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