Tue, 21 Nov 2006 10:29:34 PST
On 1 Jan 90, at 0:21, John Bryan wrote:

> ...Growers in the Netherlands are very conscious of the need to
> sell only the best possible stock. 

I nearly choked on my morning bagel when I read that. Maybe they're 
*conscious* of this need, but Dutch growers don't seem to act on that 
consciousness. The Dutch bulb trade is notorious for mislabelling 
what they send out, and it's well known that some types of bulbs from 
Dutch sources are virtually always virused, lilies being the classic 
example. I could mention the horrible virused form of Crocus 
kotschyanus, but I won't.

The mislabelling is insidious because they are generally careful to 
substitute something with approximately the same look. Out of some 
bluish Crocus biflorus cultivar? Just grab a bunch of C. 
tommasinianus; no one will ever notice the difference. It is no 
accident and esp. now when the bulbs are all prepackaged, it isn't 
due to customers mixing the contents of the bins. That's the excuse I 
used to get when I complained about misnamed bulbs!

And some of the other "bulbs" one buys are diseased in other ways: 
one friend with access to the necessary equipment determined that a 
dahlia from Dutch sources was loaded with nematodes.

It may be that you are distinguishing "growers" from "wholesalers" 
and "distributors", but a man is known by the company he keeps. The 
entire Dutch bulb trade is, I am sorry to say, unreliable and has 
known for its failings since at least 1950 when E. B. Anderson 
inveighed against mislabelled Dutch bulbs.

Simply put, it appears that the Dutch bulb industry is long on profit 
motive at the expense of ordinary everyday ethics and honesty. Their 
long history of selling wild-collected bulbs, with the end result of 
near extinction of many species, is just another example.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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