Collection holders

Michael Mace
Mon, 12 Sep 2011 23:20:59 PDT
Tom wrote:

>> Why not establish an informal network of US-based 'International

I really, really, really like Tom's idea.

To build on it a little bit, here's what I picture:

--A collection holder would be recognized by us (the PBS) as someone with
expertise and enthusiasm about a particular genus, plus a good collection of
it.  As Tom mentioned, we could have more than one collection holder for a
genus, and in fact that would be better because we'd be less at risk of
losing rare species to a single disaster.  

To give a couple of examples, I think Bob Werra would qualify for Moraea,
and Jane McG. for Calochortus (and for a lot of other things).

--We would identify collection holders on the wiki.

--Collection holders would be informal information sources on the genus.  If
you have a question about how to grow it, they'd be a good resource to ask.

--Collection holders would also attempt to spread the genus by sharing seeds
and excess corms.

--Finally, collection holders would be expected to make plans to preserve
their collections after they're no longer around.  This could be facilitated
through the PBS.  For example, if I get hit by a bus, my wife has
instructions to call Mary Sue and invite the PBS over to take charge of my

Most of those are things we'd all do anyway, so what's the incentive to be a
collection holder?  Status, for one thing.  But also, we all ought to also
make sure that a collection holder gets first crack at a rare species when
seed of it becomes available, on the assumption that they'll have the best
chance of propagating it successfully and sharing it with others.

What do you think?


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