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Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other= Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other=
Sat Feb 21 13:53:22 CET 1998

Sender: "Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other=
From: "Jim McClements, Dover, DE z6" <JimMcClem at AOL.COM>
Subject: Fwd:       Re: Kaichen Nursery


Here's Harvey's reply to my questions about the Kaichen IDs.

Forwarded message:
From:   skid at BWAY.NET
Sender: TRILLIUM-L at NIC.SURFNET.NL (Trillium Enthusiast Discussion List (a=nd
other Woodland plants))
Reply-to:       TRILLIUM-L at NIC.SURFNET.NL (Trillium Enthusiast Discussion=List (and
other Woodland plants))
Date: 98-02-21 03:24:49 EST

Dear Jim,

Thanks for your note, and yes, please feel free to post it to the
Arisaema-L.  Could you send us instructions as to how to subscribe to tha=t
listserv?  Arisaema is an area of interest of ours.

Now, onto the ID question:  From what I understood, (and remember, I was
completely jet lagged and overwhelmed with everything) all the harvesting
is done by Mr. Chen, the husband, in the fall, but that the photos are do=ne
by both of them, during the blooming season.  I got the impression that t=he
Dad helps with the IDs, and that those are from photos.

While sitting in their living room I went through an enormous stack of 4X=6
inch photos.  Whenever I came to one I was interested in, many times they
would turn to him for the ID.  They knew them all in 'Chinese' (no doubt
common names) but Dad had a book that was a Chinese/Latin
translations....and who can be an expert in every Genus?  :- )

It's interesting to see what you wrote about the identifications.  As I
said in my post, it (ID's) are not my strong suit.  Although I did attend=ed
Cornell University for Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture in the la=te
60s and early 70's.....I did not really pay enough attention in classes. =I
was more of a hippie and happy to work on my 'farm' and have my little
roadside stand, than do well in my classes.   Ah, hindsight.  Anyway, my
first 'feeling' was that those 'unknown' species were just unknown to the=m,
and that it would eventually all come out in the wash.

I'm sure that they would be very happy to learn how to improve their
identification; they seem very anxious to do well.  It's part of the whol=e
excitement and idealism still surrounding the concept of private enterpri=se
in the PRC.

When I went out to dinner with the whole family (I did not go into that i=n
my post as I thought it a little off topic) we spoke about the concept of
private enterprise.  The dad, who spoke the best English, went on at grea=t
length about private businesses in China, and what an exciting time it wa=s
in their history.  He went so far as to speak of salaries, and even talke=d
about the business that the restaurant did.  It was actually sweet to hea=r,
as Bill & I are in (now) 2 relatively new businesses (photography & plant=s)
and could really picture their excitement at the newness of the enterpris=e.
In the beginning, everything is so new, there is no history to play
against, it's all potential.

Oh, they also made me sit while waiting for our table, as my tallness (I'=m
a large 6'2") and were totally blown away that I knew how to use
chopsticks.  :- )   I told them that living in NYC, I ate Chinese food, 3
nights/week.  For some reason, it did not seem to translate.  When I deft=ly
picked up my chopsticks and plucked a snow pea from our first course, the=y
absolutely clucked in approval.  Sorta silly, but fun.  :- )

Now, back to the ID thing:
I do think the plant material will match the photos on the website.  When=I
went to the warehouse, the material in the baskets was extremely (visuall=y)
consistent.  They seem to know which were illustrated on their website.  =I
have no reason to believe that they would make the mistake of harvesting
the wrong material.  I guess what I'm partially saying is that if they ar=e
wrong about the material, it will be in name only, and that the mistake
will be consistent throughout their records.

Well, I hope I have answered all of your questions.  Please feel free to
contact me/us anytime.

We have a website, which is still a little under construction, but it doe=s
show a bit of our garden and a bit about our photo businesss:

Harvey (half of)
SKID Plants

>Thanks for the interesting posting about the Kaichen Nursery. Many peopl=e on
>both Trillium-L and Arisaema-L have participated in the recent group ord=er,
>and it was fun to visualize from your report the source of all the
>Did you get any impression about who was making the IDs of the plants? T=he
>fact that Chen Yi's father-in-law is an orchid specialist seems to fit w=ith
>an impression that the orchids pictured on the website are correctly
>identified for the most part.  However, I've heard from several people t=hat
>lot of the other IDs are not correct, again, based on the photos. And
>the plants will match the photos is another question. Do you know where =the
>photos originated? From your description of the "nursery" (basically a
>cold-storage transshipment facilty) and the supposition that these plant=s
>reaching Beijing from all over China, it's hard to figure who takes the
>pictures. And if the IDs are being made in Beijing from photos done
>elsewhere, there's no telling what some of the plants may turn out to be=!
>Any info that you have on this would be of interest to some of us (altho=ugh
>probably boring to others!). I'm going to forward your original posting =to
>Arisaema-L, and will do likewise to any further postings on the subject.
>Thanks again.
>Jim McClements, Dover, DE Zone 7a

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