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Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other= Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other=
Mon May 3 03:33:57 CEST 1999

Sender: "Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other=
From: Roy Herold <rrh at GENESIS.NRED.MA.US>
Subject: Re: Naming caution (still long, not tetchy)
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I was hoping we wouldn't get into this other stuff, but I guess you thoug=ht
it was important to continue the thread.

First, when are you guys going to get it straight that I am NOT out to ge=t
Chen Yi, besmirch her company's reputation, or engage in 'mud slinging', =as
you call it. She is a valuable resource, and I wish her success. I have
made a few simple proposals that I thought would benefit her business, he=r
customers, and the eventual identification of the plant material. To wit:

1. Don't send out the same material under two different numbers.
2. Don't send out different material under the same number.
3. Update names in a timely fashion based on ID from scholarly/expert sou=rces.
4. Tell your customers to sell the material with the number attached (no
need to reveal the source, just the number).

Are any of these unreasonable? I envy Greg Ruckert and the Australians wh=o
seem to have things under control. The quarantine process is a great
crosscheck, and by the time they have material ready for distribution som=e
very accurate names (perhaps new) will be attached. Some of these 'greedy
capitalist' Americans and Europeans will manage to spoil the mix, however.

(Just saw Greg's latest-- three cheers for Greg, Tony, and others who are
doing the ID work before putting things on the market.)

Paul,  I have a few questions for you. No need to answer if you think I'm
being too nosy; I'll interpret silence as a 'no' or 'don't care'. I'm not
trying to be confrontational, so please don't take it that way.

1. Do you feel, as a respected nurseryman, that it is important to attach
the correct name to a plant before it is sold? Do you ever plan to attach
collection numbers to the plants you sell so that names can be corrected =if

My observation: I can only think back to the first time Heronswood offere=d
A. taiwanense. They were selling it as A. formosanum at the time,
improperly identified, but with a BSWJ number attached. Once they were
properly ID'd, it was a simple matter for customers to change their
records. Great system.

2. You have a detailed description of A. du-bois-reymondiae on your web
page. Do the plants you received correspond the ones received by Wilbert?
Do they have more than seven leaflets? Do you think they are named proper=ly?

(To answer your question, yes, I had heard of A. du-bois-reymondiae befor=e
Chen Yi, but only from information supplied by Ray)

3. Have you personally ever collected arisaemas in the wild, either in
China or elsewhere? Do you know what wild collected arisaema tubers look
like? Do you know how they differ from nursery grown stock?

My observations: First, I have no problem whatsoever with wild collected
material. Chen Yi has already said that some of her material is wild
collected, so be it. However, for anyone to say they can tell if an
arisaema tuber is nursery grown just by looking at it, I have to disagree.
In collecting arisaemas in Yunnan (with the blessings of local officials)=,
I wound up with about 8 or 10 tubers of the fargesii/franchetianum
persuasion. These were found in a wide range of sites, from grassy fields
to rocky cliffs. When I got them home (through proper inspection channels=),
I lined all of them up and marveled at how clean and uniform they were. T=o
use your word, pristine. On my own property here, I have collected wild
growing A. triphyllum from an area that is so rocky and poor that nothing
else (besides trees) will grow there. I could go down there any fall and
collect 100 tubers in a matter of minutes that you would swear were nurse=ry
grown. My point? You just can't tell the difference. Size is another
thing-- if I see a tuber five inches in diameter, I would wonder just how
long it took to get that big in a nursery. Not a conclusive parameter,
however, just a supposition.

4. What would consider to be the typical age of 'nursery grown' material?
By this I mean, how long after a cutting, division, or offset is started =is
it offered for sale? Do you think it is economically viable for a nursery
to grow a plant for 5 or 10 or more years before it is offered for sale a=t
a low wholesale price?

My observations: (non-arisaema) If I receive a polygonatum tuber with 10
back bulbs still attached, I would conclude that this plant was ten years
old. Fair assumption? I would also think that it probably wasn't growing =in
a nursery for that length of time. If I receive a peony root, about 8
inches long, very old and woody, and evidently hacked off of an elderly
plant, I would think there is a very high probability it was not grown in=a
nursery (OT: the Paeonia obovata (T-52) are misidentified). If I receive =an
epimedium, very woody, and virtually without roots, I would think it was
chopped out of much larger plant, well over five years old. Again, all of
these are subjective observations. Not necessarily bad, but some of this
old woody stuff is not at all vigorous after such brutal treatment.

5. If you received a shipment of 25 moldy, mushy plants, would you think =it
was your fault if they all died?

My observations: In speaking to a local nurseryman, who is nationally
respected as a expert propagator and grower, he related (without promptin=g)
how disappointed he was with the condition of some of the material
(non-arisaema) he received. Some was moldy (a miracle it got through
inspection), some was soft, some was rotten. Losses on some species were
complete, and not due to lack of professional care. I observed deep seate=d
mold and rot on some things I received, too, and this was something that
did not happen in shipping/inspection. Did he complain? Did I complain? N=o,
they're cheap, so grin and bear it.

6. You seem to have a real knack when it comes to aftercare of imported
plant material. Would you care to share some of the techniques you use wi=th
arisaemas (without revealing any trade secrets)?

That's it for me. Just hit the delete key if you have better things to do.
Frankly, I don't think I can stand much more. Unless this is put to rest
pretty darn soon, I'll be tempted to Unsubscribe like Jan Renfroe. Spring
is too beautiful to be spoiled by arguments.


OT: Please try not to be so condescending when it comes to others'
observations. If someone says a plant died, ask what the circumstances
are-- just don't say they didn't know what they were doing. If someone sa=ys
all of their sikokianum flowers face the same way, don't just say you
wasted your time to prove they were wrong. We're all trying to learn here.

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