Shipping in the green

Robert Lauf via pbs
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 08:09:51 PDT
I completely agree with Uli.

Last summer, I ordered a box full of bulbs from SA Bulb in South Africa.  They included a large pregnant onion, various blooming size large Ledebouria species, Drimia, Urginia, Eucomis, and Merwilla.  All had all of their roots removed and were each in their own paper bag. Air freight took about 12 days as I recall, with dismaying waits at ORD and then at ATL where the APHIS inspection station was.  All of the bulbs arrived in good shape, and after planting and watering all sprung to life, quickly rooted, and most have bloomed (some repeatedly).  Turns out that a bulb loses so much water through the exposed roots, that it is far happier if you cut them off before shipping and let new ones grow back.

More recently, Mike Lowitz sent me some Haemanthus pauculifolius bulbs with big green leaves and nice thick roots.  Each was in a plastic bag with dry vermiculite and lava rock, and Priority Mail from San Diego took 2-3 days.  The plants look great and don't seem any the worse for wear, once I washed all the dust off those fuzzy leaves.

That said, the original question had to do with donating such materials for the BX.  That adds a new wrinkle to the problem, viz., the intermediate step where Luminita gets everything dumped on her and has to divvy it up and ship back out.  So I would most definitely ask her to weigh in on the matter.  At a minimum, it would probably be best to take your material and put each bulb in its own bag of vermiculate and label it.  That way, Luminita doesn't have to go searching for stuff to pack them in.  Depending on the size, a small additional fee for extra postage might also be appropriate.  If the plants are bigger and fewer, it might be easier for the donor to put out an offer and let interested folks contact him/her directly outside of the BX process.  I used this ploy to distribute some pretty large tubers and it worked well, but then again I have a lot of time on my hands to run to the post office!

The willingness of members to share cool things with others is what makes the society great.

Bob   East Tennessee   currently gloomy but mild.

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