Propagation and Cultivation info. on wiki

Mary Sue Ittner
Fri, 12 Jun 2009 07:53:29 PDT

I'm glad to see some discussion of this. A lot of people would like to see 
this added to the wiki. The question is how to do it. The logical place is 
to add information to each genus page, but experience tells me this is 
unlikely to happen. Some history first. Jane started a Reference page.…
The idea was that everyone would either add or send her a list of their 
favorite books with some comments about them and over time we'd add links 
to the genus page for the references for that genus. Jane started with a 
good list and some of the rest of us have added to it. Rodger was worried 
no one would find it as he thought it should have been called Bibliography 
instead of References so I added that name in the text for the page and in 
the description from the home page so if people were searching they would 
find it both ways. Jay added anchors for the books so we could add the 
links to the appropriate pages. In some cases the links were added to the 
genera pages, but it never got totally implemented.

I had the idea of adding family information, both creating a family page 
for each family with the genera in that family on the wiki listed on that 
page and being sure each genus had a family listed. I ran out of steam 
after about a year of working on it and wondered what in the world had I 
been thinking of when I started the project. Nhu finished the family pages 
for me. I found it  a lot harder than I thought since the taxonomists don't 
all agree about which family a genus is in and in some cases there is an 
optional family choice. I wondered if the effort had been worthwhile and 
then read someone describing how to find a picture for a favorite plant on 
our wiki by clicking first on the family page and from there to the genus 
page. I had always assumed people would start from the photographs page, 
not the family page so at least for that person the family pages had been 
useful. We decided in the beginning not to list the wiki pages by families 
since we thought a wider audience would be able to find them since it is a 
much smaller group that understands the family distinctions.

I have a backlog of pictures and information to add to the wiki that would 
keep me busy every day for years. And converting the wiki took me more than 
two months working sometimes for several hours a day. So I'm not 
volunteering to do the propagation/cultivation pages since it would keep me 
from my wiki "to do" list even though I think this information would be a 
great addition. I was thrilled when Byron said he'd take on doing something 
with my data. And if Jane has something she has already done that we could 
add in a pdf file and then link it to a page  that would be great in 
addition to whatever Byron does. With the wiki we can add information in 
several pages and link it to a general page. We already have some good 
information from topics of the week that could be linked. (Fertilizers, 
Vegetative Propagation, Seed Collection, Breaking dormancy). Ideally 
someone would volunteer to read all these posts and create a wiki page with 
a summary of this information for each, but short of that, the link would 
have to suffice. With a seed propagation page you could have a general 
introduction and links to pages on some of the methods people use for 
growing from seed: paper towel, flotation, etc. and then specific 
information on each genus. As Byron said my very long compilation of 
information people have offered included more than one method and that is 
because more that one method has worked. But it is something like Tom 
suggested, real people telling what worked for them.

I think any or parts of this would be a splendid resource, but it would 
take a lot of time to implement. I am always amused when people remark 
about things that are missing on the wiki. The wiki has been created by 
volunteers who added what they were interested in or had time to add. If 
something is not there that should be there, it is just waiting for someone 
from this group willing to add it. We have sixteen people out of 470 plus 
who have asked how to use the wiki with the new wiki software. Of these 
sixteen, I believe only nine have actually either uploaded pictures or 
added to the pages. If anyone wants to volunteer to help on this project 
you can write to me or Nhu privately and tell us what you'd be willing to 
do. If you don't actually want to create a wiki page, but would be willing 
to write what could go on a page, that could be done too. For example, 
someone could read all the list posts on fertilizing and compile and 
summarize the suggestions and that could be made into a wiki page on that 

Mary Sue

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