Saving Endangered Plants

Tony Avent
Tue, 06 Sep 2011 11:30:59 PDT

I'll share one classic example of the problems with well-intentioned laws like the idiotic Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), which is even another example.  A couple of years ago, a friend discovered several new species in southeast Asia that have been subsequently published.  Because he had no CBD certificate, the publishing botanical author refused to indicate their origin other than to country in the scientific publication.  Because their location was not described, the two small mountains where these plants were endemic to are now gone...mined for gravel.  Without this stupidity, perhaps the government of this country could have been persuaded to save the mountains.  At least those pesky collectors have living specimens and are sharing them.

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 Tim Harvey
Sent: Tuesday, September 06, 2011 1:41 PM
To: Bulb Society Pacific
Subject: Re: [pbs] Saving Endangered Plants

Sadly, there is similar elitism when it comes to botany in general. I have seen comments recently that suggest only people from botanical intitutions should be allowed to discover and describe new species. A simple analysis of the literature shows that the 'amateurs' have contributed significantly more to understanding the plants in many families than the so-called professionals. This applies to the cultivar world also - try establishing an ICRF as an individual! Access to herbarium sheet images from Aluka used to be free. Now a JSTOR subscription is required, and a lot of the information is in the public domain.

The trend in rules and regulations are making it more and more difficult for individuals to contribute. I believe this is brought about by the insecurity of the 'professionals', given a demonstrably poor record of performance dating back to the 1700s. These institutions should instead be working more and more with nurserymen and non-institutional people. There is a huge pool of knowledge and skill, and most importantly, manpower, that is being ignored.


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