Sun, 07 Oct 2007 11:50:21 PDT
F.A.O. Jane McGary.  Jane please accept my grovelling apology, I slipped up badly by not realising how the system on the site works and totally missed your post on Lilies in response to mine earlier. Just a stupid big Celt with heather in his ears I am afraid.

Thank you for Edward McRae's book reference, I do indeed have this book from a few years back however readers might be interested to note that it is now out of print but sold very well since its first appearance in 1998. I much appreciated the 'read' and have frequently the need to dip in and out of it on wee errands for info. Since his book was published, he cited 115 species this included 83 botanical sps and 22 hybrids, plus all the background to the commercial breeding at Oregon Bulb Farms. Ignoring species from the other Generas, there are now close to 120 botanical species of Lilies, plus the hybrids and there are now some 10,000 named cultivated varieties of lilies on the Int. Register; the result of his and all the other folks work he mentions along with the very many smaller sized breeders, individuals or companies.

I had hoped to make contact with Mr. McRae and 'phoned, e-mailed and wrote to many companies associations and organisations involved with Lilies in North America and not once did anyone either know where he was if I spoke to them or bother to acknowledge or reply to my inquiries which was hugely disappointing, one reason I feel acutely embarrassed by not having the brains to timeously spot your kind reply to my efforts. Would you know if Mr. McRae is still 'with us' or gone to Tir nan Og, or maybe returned home here to the old mother country. If he is alive and able or willing to respond to my questions on a couple of aspects then should you know where he is could you let him know I send my best wishes, thanks for an eminently readable book and hope to make contact should be interested in doing so.

In terms of your association with him, was this from a background yourself in the Lily industry or becasue you were very good at knocking word together, or both. I am anxious to learn about the location and current extent of the commercial Lily in the USA and Canada. The Dutch are entering "strange waters", some of their companies are shipping bulbs to China and shipping back the cut flowers, potted flowers, etc,  according to my contacts in China. The risks associated with this in terms of importing pests and viruses are truly mind boggling, quite apart from the carbon audit in relation to air miles etc.

Once again, many thanks and my sincere apoogies for over looking your kind posted response to my earlier query.     Iain

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