Paul LICHT plicht@berkeley.edu
Sun, 26 Jan 2014 08:03:10 PST
Dylan highlights a very important and often unappreciated aspect of plant
collections; namely, the origin of plants and associated data (provenance).
This issue has come up in this forum before in the context of the 'value'
of the many hybrids and cultivars that many of us love so much. For
example, at the UC Botanical Garden, we focus strongly on wild collected
material with provenance. With about 65-70% of our accessions in this
category, I think we have the most diverse plant collection with provenance
in the country. However, I often lust for variety of interesting and
'pretty' cultivated plants. In the best of all worlds,  we would have a
massive collection of all types but in reality, resources are limited.  We
all need to decide what our goals are and devote our resources accordingly.

Paul Licht, Director
University of California Botanical Garden
200 Centennial Drive
Berkeley, CA 94720

On Sat, Jan 25, 2014 at 6:09 PM, Hannon <othonna@gmail.com> wrote:

> Sharing plants is essential to keeping them with us in cultivation but
> there are more dimensions to this than growing, propagation and
> distributing them. For whatever reasons, the Antiques Roadshow keeps
> millions of viewers riveted with endless references to the history of a
> piece, or a potter's mark, signature, etc. The same information pertains to
> plants but because it has very low perceived value (or added value) it is
> routinely ignored by most growers and nurserymen. Botanic gardens are also
> well-stocked with plants that have no provenance. There is little
> connection between general collecting and gardening and biological (vs.
> horticultural) conservation unless a plant is of known wild origin. Yet we
> speak of an unqualified conservation aspect to our efforts very often.
> May I suggest that members consider pursuing this information for their
> plants as a way to improve the experience of growing and collecting and to
> enhance the exchange of "pedigreed" plants with others. This is a major
> aspect of what is called *plantsmanship*, a useful English term that
> encompasses not only horticulture but botany, history of lineages and
> related fields of interest.
> Dylan Hannon
> >
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