Provenance Data for collection material?

Paul Licht
Sat, 24 Dec 2011 11:56:12 PST
I assume you refer tio the policy which restricts the use of seed 
produced in cultivation. There are several reasons for this. One of the 
most obvious is the increased likelihood that seeds in cultivation are 
more likely to represent hybridization. In general, we have little 
interest in 'man-made' hybrids and cultivars (which seems to be a major 
focus of interest among private collectors as reflected in the PBS 
listserve). We do have a number of naturally occuring 
cultivars/varieties/subspecies but few produced horticulturally (e.g., 
we have about 10,000 different species but close to 13,000 taxa). I 
think the cultivated variations have great value, but I see no way, a 
serious research collection could maintain the full array of such 
variation.  Some gardens are in fact, specializing in horticultural 

  Another reason we prefer wild-collected seed is the genetic diversity 
of the wild population is better represented as compared to selfing or 
limited interindividual pollution in a garden.  Of course, the value of 
provenance relates to the use of plants for academic research and 
hopefully ex situ conservation (if plants are to be reintroduced, we 
believe it preferable to use plants adapted to the site). vegetatively 
propagated materials (e.g., cuttings, bulbiles, bulb divisions) at least 
represent genetically represent the original specimen.

On a related note, the fact that it is so hard to get data for what's 
even in public botanical gardens also illustrates one  reasons why 
cultivation by private growers or even small public gardens a problem. 
We have a long way to go to catalog and track such collections. In fact, 
database development and maintenance are major issues for all gardens. 
Also, these individual/small collections are probably even more likely 
to be lost with the individual than changes due to new directors in more 
long-standing public gardens.

Paul Licht, Director
Univ. California Botanical Garden
200 Centennial Drive
Berkeley, CA 94720

On 12/24/2011 11:23 AM, Tim Harvey wrote:
> Paul,
> I was wondering at the rationale behind your policy, assuming the parent plants would be of known origin?
>   T
>> Incidentally, our own policy prevents use of
>> our seed for building the collection since the seed is not directly from
>> a wild population source.  		 	   		
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