rare plants, their data and their collections

Johannes-Ulrich Urban johannes-ulrich-urban@t-online.de
Mon, 26 Dec 2011 15:46:00 PST
Dear All,

Hope you all had a good Christmasm my best wishes for the New Year!

Having followed the discussion on rare plants, their collection data and
the maintenance of a collection after the collector's death, here are my

Conservation through cultivation is perhaps the most important point.
Countless examples have proved this, orchids, cacti especially. But it
is so annoying that many botanical gardens seem to be much less willing
to propagate plants for an interestind public: Kirstenbosch has stopped
the seedlist for foreign members, Huntington has stopped succulent
propagation for foreigners as just 2 examples. The explantions why this
was stopped was annoying and not satisfying at all.

As a private collector I do not necessarily need the ultra precise
location of a specific taxon. It does make a difference to know if
something is from certified wild provenance or not but as a
non-scientific collector the last inches of its place of origin are not
absolutely necessary.

I have lost good plant-friends with very important plant collections.
With them I was treated ever so generously in the beginning of my own
collection that I often felt ashame as I had nothing to return to these
kind of people. Only very much later I understood that it is vital to do
that in order to spread valuable plants as much and as long as you can.
This way perhaps not a whole collection will be saved as a whole (which
is another important issue) but much valuable plant material is shared,
distributed and saved this way. So share as long as you live! That is
one of the reasons to be a member of plant societies and it also
sometimes is a cause for frustration if the status of a foreigner
matters more than necessary sometimes.

Bye for today, greetings from Germany     Uli

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