Sharing seeds of rare plants

James Waddick
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 19:11:44 PST
JAne McG wrote:

> What has been your experience in dealing with this problem, and what do you think about it? How should my friend find growers for his seeds?
> Jane McGary

Dear Jane and all, 
	This is a very sticky point. Literally over the course of decades and communicating with like minded growers, I know who are good people to send rare seeds or other materials.  The very comments you made about the restrictive nature of narrow distribution of endangered species must be given serious thought.  I do not send seeds to a part of the US that I do not think is appropriate for growing a species. Over the years I have shared seeds and plants from all over the US and the world on a very limited basis with people I can vouch for. 

	Jane surely your friend has friends who he/she can trust and each of them have friends, etc.  I do not sell these rarest of the rare and urge friends-even commercial growers, not to sell their seedlings. 

	I am reminded of a large botanical garden (no name) grows a very rare plant that became extinct in the wild. It proved easy enough to grow, but extremely difficult to propagate. Eventually they figured out a couple simple techniques and were able to propagate hundreds of plants, but because of its status in the wild they could not distribute the seedlings. On top of that it is a plant that would be highly desirable to hoe gardeners. As it stands now it is grown in only 2 non-US botanical gardens. They are stuck with hundreds of plants. To add insult recently a plant that was on public display was stolen by a garden visitor and the National Police were called on to investigate this as an international incident.

	This is a sorry situation where a simple distribution to qualified growers could produce hundreds or thousands of plants for wide distribution, but it is illegal. This is just the bare bones of a complex situation.

	I believe in conserve ration through cultivation: grow it and share it. This reduce pressure on wild populations, encourages appreciation for the rare status and improves the overall gene pool through proper management.

	So Jane- tell you friend to contact trusted friends and their friends and so one.  I would never advertise to the general public, garden group, seed exchange etc. 		Best		Jim W. 

James Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd
Kansas City, MO 64152-2711
Phone     816-746-1949

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