chen-yi nursery

Jane McGary
Fri, 24 May 2013 16:54:54 PDT
Although a number of interesting plants have entered cultivation in 
North America and elsewhere via Chen Yi's nursery, it is widely 
thought that some of the material is collected in the wild. I have 
heard people justify this with the argument that so many plants are 
endangered by wild collecting for Chinese herbalism that taking a few 
for horticulture is relatively benign. That doesn't seem like a valid 
argument to me.

Moreover, most people who have received plants originating with Chen 
Yi have found that many of them are misidentified, and that the same 
species can be sent under several different names. The only ones I 
ever bought were Fritillaria species obtained through a middleman in 
the UK, and they were almost all misnamed, though I did end up with 
viable bulbs of two species (not the five I paid for, and not with 
the names they came under).

Jim McClements wrote an article on his Chen Yi acquisitions (he 
specializes in woodland plants) and titled it "The Chinese Grab Bag." 
He acknowledged, however, that a couple of items from the grab bag 
were extremely good!

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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