Saving Endangered Plants

Tony Avent
Tue, 06 Sep 2011 05:12:07 PDT

I'm glad you posted a note about the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC).  Although their mission is good, I have found them to be one of the most elitist organizations that I've ever encountered.  They seem more interested in patting each other on the back than actually accomplishing anything.  In talking with them, they seem to have no interest in commercial nurseries or private collectors, since in their eyes, we are the great "unwashed". We don't understand the "problems" inherent with growing endangered plants...all rare plants must remain exactly where they are today, unless academic bureaucrats decide its okay to relocate them.  They dismiss all nurseries and horticulture in general because we are evil commercial ventures only wanting to exploit plants.

As I've tried to explain to several members, the nursery industry would be the perfect partner, not only in being able to actually grow the plants, but we could do wonders with ex-situ conservation by spreading the plants around widely to collectors in this changing climate. We would have many more Federally Endangered plants in our catalog if it were not for this bunch of bureaucrats...along with those from the US Fish and Wildlife.  Do you know that to legally grow and sell Federal Endangered plants, you must prove that by doing so, you will help the wild populations.  Common sense would say that as long as you aren't harming the wild population, this should be adequate. The CPC absolutely do not want endangered plants in private hands since the idea that they might wind up in a new location gives them fits...think Linda Blair from the Exorcist.  Evidently, I missed the memo where someone put them in charge of keeping nature in exactly the same place as it is today....quite
  bizarre. In my logical world, a functional CPC would be passing out propagation material of endangered plants to nurseries and encouraging them to get it propagated and sold.

Until we can get folks with more common sense, I don't hold much hope for the group actually accomplishing anything meaningful.  How about it Shirley...are you up to the task?

Tony Avent
Plant Delights Nursery @
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, North Carolina  27603  USA
Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F
Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F
USDA Hardiness Zone 7b
phone 919 772-4794
fax  919 772-4752
"I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it least three times" - Avent

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, September 05, 2011 11:59 PM
To: 'Pacific Bulb Society'
Subject: Re: [pbs] Saving Endangered Plants

Are many of you in the U.S. aware of the Center for Plant Conservation, headquartered at the Missouri Botanic Garden in St. Louis?

Their mission is to conserve and restore the imperiled native plants of our country.  It is a consortium of Botanic Gardens and Arboreta across the country, including New York BG, Arnold Arboretum. Fairchild, Univ. of Washington, Desert Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Historic Bok Sanctuary, Flagstaff, AZ; Red Butte, Santa Barbara, Morton Arboretum, Arizona-Sonora Desert, Cinncinnati Zoo and BG, Chicago Bot. Garden, New England Wildflower, Denver Bot. Garden, North Carolina BG, Waimea Valley BG. New York BG, Rancho Santa Ana BG, State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Chicago BG, National Tropical BG, Holden Arboretum,, Minnesota, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Cornell Plantation and Honolulu BG.

For more information, please contact Kathryn

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