Private exchanges

Started by janemcgary, February 25, 2024, 02:10:23 PM

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I can surely get Acis longifolia.

And very likely
Colchicum kesselringii
Fritillaria tubiformis
Iris stenophylla

There is a possibility to have some bulbs brought to the EU in early summer and have other ones carried to the US at the end of it.

Carlos Jiménez
Valencia, Spain, zone 10
Dry Thermomediterranean, 450 mm


Quote from: janemcgary on February 25, 2024, 02:10:23 PMI would like to offer a proposal for privately arranged exchanges via this forum. Individuals could post "want lists" in this topic for others to read. Those who have the desired species to spare could reply, offering their own want list of possible trade items, and the individuals could then email each other privately to arrange shipping.
I would enjoy "a subforum of the exchange area" where we could post private wants or offers and arrange trades of bulbs, plants or pollen privately.

Of course, it shouldn't upstage the BX or SX, and probably needs to happen within your country for phyto and shipping reasons.

Will there be a decision on this?
Who will be making that decision?

Member: : Pacific Bulb Society


Hello @Bridget,
Can we put this topic on the agenda of the next board meeting? It may not be as straightforward as it seems at first glance and might need some discussion.
Hello @Ken,
The PBS encourages private contacts between members which can of course include private exchanges. The formal setup of a private exchange through the forum needs careful discussion as it might undermine the BX/SX. But it might also mobilize donations which otherwise would not happen.
Algarve, Portugal
350m elevation, frost free
Mediterranean Climate

David Pilling

As Babs, Ginger and the gang said "so tell us what you want, tell us what you really really want"

I have contributed bushels of seed that no one wanted. There is usually no feedback mechanism that informs you what seed would be welcome.

Problem with asking what people want, is that they will say the blue amaryllis, or similar rare items.

As Donald Trump says, "you can't always get what you want, but sometimes you can get what you need".

Martin Bohnet

Quote from: David Pilling on April 13, 2024, 11:01:05 AMAs Babs, Ginger and the gang said
So in the next step we'll have to marry a soccer player and develop him into a style icon? oh dear.

At least I can tell (not exactly you, Brexit, but anyway) if there are bushels of seed, give them to the established public exchange. The "microexchanges" are meant for stuff so rare and few you want to have some control over who gets it. That's where the Griffinias come onto play...
Martin (pronouns: he/his/him)

David Pilling

@Martin Bohnet - my point is that if exchanges provided some sort of information, on what there was demand for. I dunno, do you make the packets smaller, or have a lottery, or go off people's donor record, to decide who gets the items in short supply.

I once had a frank chat with a seed ex manager and what I considered good efforts on my part (lilium formosanum, zantadeschia aethopica) were just not wanted. They had, well bushels of them, they couldn't give away, and didn't want any more.

I can see why seed ex don't want to reject stuff, one day the person who donates common stuff will donate some good stuff.

NARGS has a nice page about Seed Ex.

"The most frequently ordered items in the Seed Exchange are from small, highly ornamental alpine plants, especially those collected in the wild. Seed from very unusual plants, especially from temperate climates, as well as woodland plants and the seed of uncommon bulbs are also much desired. Always highly sought are seeds of Adonis, Arisaema, Cyclamen, Edraianthus, Erythronium, Fritillaria, Hepatica, Paeonia, Trillium as well as some of the smaller or rare species of Aquilegia, Campanula, Clematis, Eritrichium, Gentiana, Lewisia, Penstemon, and Primula. There is also a small demand for easily grown ornamental garden standards, but in this regard see comments on the Unacceptable Seeds below. Seeds sent without species designation (listed as "sp.") are rarely requested, unless of highly desirable genera. North American members, in particular, are urged to collect more seed of alpine plants in the wild."


Common trees and large shrubs, unless wild collected; uncommon species are acceptable;�
Annuals or large perennials available from commercial seed catalogs, or cultivars of common groups such as Hemerocallis, Hosta, or bearded iris;
Plants taller than 1-meter requiring frost-free culture, or  Aquatic plants;
Food plants of little ornamental value;
Large quantities of seed of large plants like Clematis cultivars, Eryngium or Eupatorium.


The list of "unacceptable plants" from NARGS that David quoted originated with me. I've done every phase of the NARGS SX, including 3 years as intake manager in the mid-1990s. My capacity for snarking about common donations is limitless. For the past few years I've just done packaging, and it's hard to be asked to put together 30 packets of Lilium formosanum (for example); and then there are all the donors who send in Clematis seed.

Martin Bohnet

I guess I'm a lot more open for unusual stuff, like e.g. Carlos' Pyrenees-collected seeds though most of them were more NARGS material than bulbs - sometimes that means that I send back particularly precious leftovers to the donor. For now I refrain from banning certain species, as some seem to come in waves - Freesia laxa
is one example which actually has become rare-ish after being totally abundant in the beginning.

one clue for the EX is the PDF linked in this article -anything listed as "very rare" has definitely been totally used when offered, as the re-offerings on the following 2 exchanges end up included in the evaluation. A caveat for the "when to expect new" value in that list: the Château donations are offered independently from seasonal availability and thus may distort this information a little.

PS: i don't link the pdf directly so I'll only have to update one link when updating the data (as I will soon after EX08b)
Martin (pronouns: he/his/him)


Uli, thank you for reaching out.  I am adding to the agenda.



I've just seen this thread.  I think we have to be careful regarding private exchanges so not to disable the very important BX/SX exchanges.
Arnold T.
North East USA