Sharing sends of rare plants

Wed, 12 Nov 2014 19:20:53 PST
As a plantsman I am concerned about issues involving cultivated plants that
are grown for enjoyment, study and profit. One could say that
"conservation" applies here but it may be a poor word choice. Conservation
implies a deliberate effort to keep something going over time and over
generations but I do not believe most of us are burdened by such a mission,
at least not as a primary goal in growing plants. Sharing plants and
relevant information is of tremendous and increasing importance to the
societies we live in but our activities may have little or no bearing on
conservation as the word is used by scientists and bureaucrats.

It seems silly to think that collectors and gardeners and nurseries have
anything but a negligible impact on the sort of plant conservation under
discussion here. Does anyone have evidence to show that propagating and
distributing plants ever brought harm to a rare species? Collecting in the
wild has been deleterious in some cases but that is not what we are talking
about and it is misleading to conflate rarity per se with horticultural
activities. That such confusion is common indicates that the subject is
either poorly understood by policy makers or that there has been a
deliberate attempt to control the movement of plants under the guise of
conservation. The practice of some botanical gardens in interpreting the
CBD certainly leave a person with that impression.

Dylan Hannon

*"The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add an
useful plant to its culture..." --**Thomas Jefferson*

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