No subject

Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other= Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other=
Sun Mar 10 06:32:05 CET 2002

Sender: "Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other=
From: irisman <irisman at AMERITECH.NET>
Subject: Re: More on conservation, and associated matters, hybridiza=
tion,  genomes, etc
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transf er-Encoding: 7bit

I see that I have touched on some sore points.  Let me tell you some of
these points ae sore with me too!  ABout 30-35 years ago I was instrument=al
in importing rare oncocyclus iris species that had not been in the countr=y
for more than 25 years.  They were distributed among those who knew best =how
to grow them., and those who were willing to pay in an enthusiast group n=ot
unlike this  onbe but I don';t really now anyone here.  I assume that all=of
you who have rare species know how to grow them and never lose them
?  )<G>?  At any rate. Many of these were hybridized.  They do not self
readily, at all.  (Most plants have barriers to self-pollination)  And mo=st
of what we are pleased to call "species"  are artificial entities
established by people (not given by God, or something)  based on holotype=s
which are dried specimens in  an herbarium   (which in the case of irises
may not exist any more, neither the herbarium or the holotype).  Some of
these irises exist (as far as is known) only in their hybrids,
unfortunately.,because their original provenance has been over-collected =and
the limited colonies are gone.  Others exist in profusion, but some forms
are gone., others, as I noted are subject to the inroads of increased
building, etc.

I do not necessarily recommend hybridization as a primary way of maintain=ing
any species--but, do these things self-pollinate?  and set viable seed?  =So
far the hints I've gotten are that they may, or may not.   How does a
species maintain its identity and euploid genome and supposed uniqueness =,
if it cannot set seed from self-pollination?  I don't have a good answer =to
this, and suspect I won't because our conceptualization of what goes on
isn't a sufficient tool to answer this. .  Irises set seed within colonie=s
of a species, where (one may assume) the individuals are sufficiently
distinct and different enough to not trigger the enzymes that would block
fertilization, and certainly there is variation within a speciecs.  But,
people decide  whether the variation within the colony is so great as to
remove it from a species classification, and assign it a forma, or a var.
or,  an aff.  or   remove it from the species, or even  the genus,.  This=is
what keeps taxonomists busy, but I'm not going to say that what's good fo=r
taxonomists (or General Motors) is good   for conservation or the world..

Just in my lifetime, a number of species have become extinct. I note this=,
even as I shall become extinct, and even as some of my children have.  Re
hybridization:I don't think I suggested that indiscriminate hybridization
was a goal or a likelihood.  With the chromosome numbers noted so far, I
suspect that hybridization may be more dificult than  imagined

Do we even have agreement on how to grow these things?   Do members of th=is
group grow them reliably?  year in and year out?  I salute the idea of th=e
exchange program and the entering requirement for AEG of who has what and
where .    Has each of you made arrangements about what should be done wi=th
your collection in case of your death?    Just this last few weeks I was
lucky enough to brng a few rare hybrids from Australia into the US.  Some=no
longer existed in the U.S., others were developed in Australia and never
entered commerce here.   At this time there is one rhizome of each of
hybrid  of a "species" for which the provenance has never been establishe=d

I should note , also, that the hybridization of oncocyclus and regelia
irises has been in large measure the result of backyard gardeners who hav=e
taken the trouble to learn the requisite skills to raise the seed
(notoriously difficult to germinate in the past, short of embryo culturin=g
it).  Very few people in the U.S. have been able to keep the oncocyclus
species alive for more than a few years at a time  I suspect that some of
the arisaemas may prove equally fractious,  but I hope not.

I don't know how to grow these things in Chicago, yet., except for
triphyllum and dracontium which are native in the area.  But I hope to
learn.    In evolutionary terms, I would not be surprised to find that A.
triphyllum and amurense are exceedingly close, even as skunk cabbage here
and in Siberia probably are.  Thanks to all who decided to respond.  I
printed out the information on registration of cultivars which was new to

Adam Fikso,  3620 Glenview Rd., Glenview, IL 60025 USDA  Zone 5a,  to -2=5F

From: "J.E. Shields" <jshields104 at INSIGHTBB.COM>
Sent: Friday, March 08, 2002 8:47 AM
Subject: More on conservation

> Dear all,
> Conservation is a fascinating problem, full of contradictions.  There a=re
> some people in the field who have a "take no prisoners" attitude toward
> anyone who disagrees with them but especially toward those within the
> conservation community.  I find that very counter-productive.  All side=s
> have some truth in their arguments, all sides seem to be wrong about pa=rts
> of the picture.
> I'm new to Arisaema and am not familiar with the field.  Sources, what =is
> rare and what is common, what sources are reliable and which are not, e=tc.
> If you want your collection of plants to have any conservation value,
> perhaps you should  consider the following points.
> 1.  Provenance is the most important datum you can keep about your
> plants.  Provenance is where the plant came from -- ex hort (from garde=ns)
> including almost everything in commerce; and wild collected, which has
> sub-categories, are the two main classifications.
> 2.  Genetic diversity is related to whether we are propagating one or a
> clones, or are propagating by seeds.  A wild population is going to hav=e
> many similar by different genomes.  To preserve the species in
> one needs to get a broad sampling of the genetic variability in the wil=d
> population.
> We all know that plants in cultivation can be here today and gone
> tomorrow.  I try to not grow just a single clone of anything.  Pascal's
> point about propagating the rare species you already have is a very goo=d
> one.  Besides vegetatively propagating your rare plants, I would hope t=o
> see everyone trading offsets, so that no rare plant is represented in o=nly
> one collection or by only one genetic individual (i.e., all the same
> I am not engaged in growing rare or many Arisaema, but I do work with a=lot
> of uncommon to rare bulb species.  My goal is always to have several
> genetically distinct individuals of any species I grow, and to
> cross-pollinate among them to produce genetically diverse seeds.
> Pascal and Ray voice concern about messing up the species with
> hybrids.  I agree completely -- don't do it if you cannot keep good
> records.  Indeed, if you cannot keep good records, you are not going to
> contribute to conservation no matter how many rare species you know how=to
> grow.
> By the way, I have heard friends in botanic gardens complaining about t=he
> lousy, mongrel seeds they receive from some other botanic gardens in se=ed
> exchanges!  Even the professionals can mess up sometimes, and they are
> trying NOT to.  I can image what mess-ups occur in gardens that don't t=ry
> to keep careful records.
> If I am boring everyone to death, I will desist.  I am conservation cha=ir
> for the International Bulb Society, and I sometimes get a bit worked up=on
> the subject myself.  It is a very frustrating area to try to accomplish
> anything in.
> Regards,
> Jim Shields
> in central Indiana
> *************************************************
> Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
> P.O. Box 92              WWW:
> Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA                   Tel. +1-317-896-3925

More information about the Arisaema-L mailing list