Conservation through Propagation was Provenance Data forcollection material?

Robin Hansen
Mon, 26 Dec 2011 13:42:16 PST
I feel compelled to answer a concern expressed by Michael re:  Lilium occidentale as this one I do know something about.

This lily requires open areas on forest edges and is suffering from encroachment of vegetation as part of a natural progression of plants.  (I've seen this situation in a particular are along the south coast of Oregon.)  Those of us who are frustrated with such situations as that with L. occidentale and others where we can't sell, propagate, buy, etc. are quietly propagating such plants and passing them around.  

These plants (I'm speaking of rare and protected species generally.) have been handed off to us as seed, etc. from sources in existence before a particular plant became restricted.  So, no, provenance is murky, but yes, the plants will live on somehow, some way.

It is particularly pitiful that we need to do this.  I understand the need for strict provenance for research etc. but we are losing so much due to generally legalistic pigheadedness that I simply cannot condone behind-the-barn attempts to perpetuate a rare species provided due care is taken.

Robin Hansen
Hansen Nursery
PO Box 1228
North Bend, OR 97459, USA
(541) 759-3539
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Michael Homick 
  To: Pacific Bulb Society 
  Sent: Sunday, December 25, 2011 12:43 PM
  Subject: [pbs] Conservation through Propagation was Provenance Data forcollection material?

  On Sun, Dec 25, 2011 at 7:51 AM, Paul Licht <> wrote:

  > If you have valuable plants with provenance that you are willing to
  > share, we would love to work with you.
  > Paul
  This seems like a one way offer for the plant material to move.

  Is the reciprocal phrase also true.....
  .....If We have valuable plants with provenance that you are willing to
  grow, we would love to work with you.
  ..... Probably not.
  I do understand restrictions imposed on Botanical Gardens that make it
  impossible for them to disseminate non native material without compensation
  being remitted to country of origin, but it makes it frustrating when they
  have rare plants and it is only ever available to other researchers and non
  private Botanical Gardens that they classify as worthy.

  I also understand how plant material grown from seed to flowering and then
  seed again in a garden whether mine or a botanical garden has started the
  process of selection away from its natural environmental conditions. Only
  those "tolerant" of my growing conditions will produce the next generation,
  others die off. But even so the plant genetics is not lost totally as it
  would be if left to fade away over the next 50 years in its natural
  settings with no intervention of cloning existing material and making it
  publicly available.

  For example the latest government report on Lilium occidentale gives it
  about 35-50 years remaining in its natural habitat, but laws make it
  illegal to grow, propagate or disseminate any plants, seeds, tissue
  cultures etc. From what I have heard, there isn't even any effort to
  pollinate isolated plants in a locality with each other to aid seed

  It seems to me more could be done in a pro active mode rather that monitor
  populations from year to year and report on the steady decline of the
  population until extinct.

  I understand I am talking about two different things above with Botanical
  Gardens as one and natural plant population decline a second. But Botanical
  Gardens could be the intermediary between government restrictions on native
  population collecting and commercial growers, collectors and plant
  societies making the material available. This would take collecting
  pressure off native plant areas. For example Orchids that were selling for
  $5000 each years ago now are available for $5-10, Similarly for plants like
  Nepenthes rajah, 20 years ago priceless, today medium sized plants for less
  that $20-30.

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