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Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other= Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other=
Fri Mar 8 13:57:14 CET 2002

Sender: "Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other=
From: "George R Stilwell, Jr." <grsjr at JUNO.COM>
Subject: Re: hybridization and conservation


I couldn't have said it better. Thanks for this wisdom.

GRSJr at

On Thu, 7 Mar 2002 21:50:26 +0100 "P.Bruggeman" <pbruggeman at WISH.NET>
>Dear all,
>Whether one is in favour of hybrization or not, in terms of
>conservation I
>really hope people are not starting to hybridize with rare species
>sufficient numbers of that species are in cultivation to allow for
>experiments. I would much more appreciate it if people would do their
>to propagate rare species before they let themselves go with
>experiments. As a matter of fact, I think that this is what Wilbert
>talking about in his reaction to the intended cross between A.
>cordatum and
>a Typhonium species.
>Preserving the genes of a rare species in hybrids is in my point of
>view NOT
>the way to go. I certainly don't think that there is ever a situation
>it seems hybrids are the only way to preserve genes. Tissue culture is
>much better way to achieve this. If one wants to preserve genes, what
>purpose would it have to preserve the genes in a hybrid if the species
>lost? Certainly if that species is A. cordatum!
>Despite what some hybridizers in the current thread hope to achieve, I
>yet to see a Arisaema-hybrid that is better looking than the parents.
>fact that many genera like daylilies or Iris seem highly suitable for
>hybridization doesn't necessarily mean that Arisaema are! I do admit
>some man-made Arisaema-hybrids have some ornamental value but most
>only seem to be valuable additions for the compost heap, certainly the
>between quite distinct species. However, I can understand it if one
>wants to
>"improve" a species by crossing various forms of that species to get
>more variants of that species (colour, shape of the spathe). Thanks to
>current imports from China, certainly species like candidissimum and
>franchetianum seem to be highly suitable for this. Triphyllum too for
>I do however have my doubts whether it's possible to cross Arisaema
>for the
>purpose of improving the hardiness (or heat- or droughtresistency for
>matter) of a SPECIES. At best, one can cross 2 species to get a
>looking, hardy plant UNLESS there is a hardy, less appealing form of
>attractive species in question with which to cross. Even then, one has
>hope the off-spring of the 2 forms inherets the best of both parents,
>attractive AND cold-hardy but I can't think of any species for which
>is such a need (or are not all forms of triphyllum cold-hardy?).
>I am not saying that the cross between 2 species to get a cold-hardy
>and yet
>atractive hybrid (if that was the purpose of that cross) is not
>possible, it
>certainly is. It's just that, based on the hybrids in existence thus
>far, it
>seems that to achieve such a hybrid one has to have plenty of time,
>space, a
>good plan, patience and a VERY big compost heap .... In my point of
>such a proces is beyond the scope of the average AEG-member and seems
>more a
>thing for a big nursery and they don't want to spent all the money
>because the market seems to be too small for Arisaema. Hybridizing for
>purpose of exploring all possibilities would be a matter of having
>even more
>time, patience, space and an ENORMOUS compost heap wouldn't it? The
>Arisaema consists of some 150+ members and I don't even want to talk
>all the variants....
>To come back to the intended cross between Arisaema cordatum and a
>species, I can imagine that Petra only had a male plant in flower of
>cordatum at that particular moment and she didn't want to waste the
>I did however manage to preserve pollen of Arisaema for 2 months in
>fridge and used it succesfully to pollinate female plants that
>flowered 2
>months later. Did you (or anybody else for that matter) ever tried to
>conserve pollen Petra? Has anybody any idea how long pollen stays
>"alive" in
>controlled conditions and if so, what should those conditions be? Not
>for the conservation of rare species would this be of interest but
>also for
>those who want to cross species that don't flower at the same time.
>any idea? One thing I know, pollen in water starts to mould after 3
>I can't blame anybody who wants to give it go with
>but please document the crosses well and try to keep the hybrids away
>the species. The people who are doing their best to identify species
>have a
>hard job already...

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