Commercial sales of protected plants

Robin Hansen
Fri, 21 Dec 2007 16:53:52 PST

You address a sore spot that has irked me for years.  What's the good of putting something on the endangered list and not allowing people to legitimately propagate and sell these plants?  

It's all very well to preserve genetic material and reintroduce it into previous native habitats, but who knows how successful those reintroductions are.  Then we have the case of Cyclamen somalense.

It has been years since this was collected; the three plants brought out of Somalia may have bloomed but have not (to my knowledge) set seed.

This plant may be lost before we ever get a chance to save it.  Granted this is an extreme example, but Russ Graham can tell you a great horror story about what happens when a state (in this case Oregon) found out he was growing an endangered plant (and may also have offered the option of turning it over to the uncertain future fo state custody) and demanded  that he destroy his stock.  I don't recall the plant but it was one specialist growers were able to grow.  It may not have ever entered the mainstream of good garden growers, but certainly would not have disappeared.

So finding a way to legitimize commercial growing of endangered plants is something worth working for.

Robin Hansen
Cyclamen specialist

More information about the pbs mailing list