Conservation through Propagation was Provenance Data for collection material?

Michael Homick
Sun, 25 Dec 2011 12:43:57 PST
On Sun, Dec 25, 2011 at 7:51 AM, Paul Licht <> wrote:

> If you have valuable plants with provenance that you are willing to
> share, we would love to work with you.
> Paul
This seems like a one way offer for the plant material to move.

Is the reciprocal phrase also true.....
.....If We have valuable plants with provenance that you are willing to
grow, we would love to work with you.
..... Probably not.
I do understand restrictions imposed on Botanical Gardens that make it
impossible for them to disseminate non native material without compensation
being remitted to country of origin, but it makes it frustrating when they
have rare plants and it is only ever available to other researchers and non
private Botanical Gardens that they classify as worthy.

I also understand how plant material grown from seed to flowering and then
seed again in a garden whether mine or a botanical garden has started the
process of selection away from its natural environmental conditions. Only
those "tolerant" of my growing conditions will produce the next generation,
others die off. But even so the plant genetics is not lost totally as it
would be if left to fade away over the next 50 years in its natural
settings with no intervention of cloning existing material and making it
publicly available.

For example the latest government report on Lilium occidentale gives it
about 35-50 years remaining in its natural habitat, but laws make it
illegal to grow, propagate or disseminate any plants, seeds, tissue
cultures etc. From what I have heard, there isn't even any effort to
pollinate isolated plants in a locality with each other to aid seed

It seems to me more could be done in a pro active mode rather that monitor
populations from year to year and report on the steady decline of the
population until extinct.

I understand I am talking about two different things above with Botanical
Gardens as one and natural plant population decline a second. But Botanical
Gardens could be the intermediary between government restrictions on native
population collecting and commercial growers, collectors and plant
societies making the material available. This would take collecting
pressure off native plant areas. For example Orchids that were selling for
$5000 each years ago now are available for $5-10, Similarly for plants like
Nepenthes rajah, 20 years ago priceless, today medium sized plants for less
that $20-30.


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