Collection holders

Tony Avent
Tue, 13 Sep 2011 04:01:04 PDT

I'm not sure how many folks realize, but there is already a National Collections Program in place in the US....comprised, of course, solely of botanic garden.  We looked at participating since we have the largest collections of many genera, but found the paperwork and reporting far too complex and onerous...what a shame.

Tony Avent
Plant Delights Nursery @
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, North Carolina  27603  USA
Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F
Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F
USDA Hardiness Zone 7b
phone 919 772-4794
fax  919 772-4752
"I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it least three times" - Avent

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Michael Mace
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 2:21 AM
Subject: [pbs] Collection holders

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 bulbs.

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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