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The Angraecoid Alliance Membership -- Your Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Everything Else Orchid' started by Reyna, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Reyna

    Reyna Orchid Obsessed Supporting Member

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    For several months now, I have considered how best to welcome other angraecoid growers as members of The Angraecoid Alliance. There are a number of orchid societies, groups and specific genera alliances, and each is currently struggling to maintain its membership. As should be obvious, the purpose of The Angraecoid Alliance is not to create just another orchid group that happens to be dedicated to angraecoids. Rather, my objective is to make a serious impact on both the in situ conservation and the successful ex situ cultivation of these plants.

    So, membership in the Alliance should reward and facilitate efforts to that end. While the details are still being worked out, I would love your thoughts on Alliance membership being based upon individual or business participation in a world-wide effort to share pollen, set pods, flask the seed and then disperse the plants for cultivation. Members who participate in the effort will have the first option to obtain the plants propagated via the Alliance. The cost of obtaining the plants (or flasks) will be minimal. This is not a for-profit endeavor. Members of the Alliance will presumably be interested in growing or at least conserving angraecoids ex situ. Most certainly, should an individual or business obtain a flask, those plants could be resold, but the primary objective would be to create a co-op for the propagation and ex situ conservation of the plants.

    If you have thoughts about the logistics of this method of membership, please feel free to either PM me, email or comment here. And, please email [email protected] to receive our quarterly newsletter which will be sent in July.
     
  2. Reyna

    Reyna Orchid Obsessed Supporting Member

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    Oh, and I should add -- knowing that angs are notoriously finicky about propagation, membership wouldn't require that the capsule was fertile etc etc. Just participation in the efforts.
     
  3. theLab

    theLab Member Supporting Member

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    What I keep for important as well is that the Alliance cares for botanical species only and that plants which shall be pollinated are plainly identified. Seedlings resulting of the propagation should definitely not be used for any hybridism-aim or purpose. Dispersing the results is important but it is as essential that at least a certain percentage (if not 100%) of the seedlings shall be restrained and shared among Alliance-members only who promise and confirm to keep the plants for future propagation if there´s the need to repeat a pollination. That means if the cultivation ends (because of losing interest, changing the assortment or what ever) the plants are refunded to the Alliance that one can watch out for new trustful keepers. It is important to keep in mind that those plants don´t belong to anyone except to themselves.
    I have worked on the conservation of endangered species for quite a long time and it is really disappointing observing some resulting plants end up at ebay. You will notice that it often takes years to find a suitable partner-plant and it often takes years, too, in order to convince the owner of the importance to get his plant in propagation.

    Although a seedpod usually contains several thousand of seeds it has no use to advance the propagation in high quantity and it has no use to support any commercial nurseries who then harvest the profit whilst the laboratories of the Alliance work on a low-cost-level. Moreover the more plants are re-produced the higher gets the risk that some are taken for hybridism what means contamination in genes and bears the risk of misidentifying in the future.
    For instance: Aerangis hologlottis – we are actually the only source among Europe or even worldwide – is tissue-cultured in lowest quantities only. We offer 10 – 30 plants a year not more. At the moment we have 5 centres among Europe where these plants are kept and cultivated for us. Thus we know to every time where these plants a localized and it takes a phone-call only to get informed about their constitution or to fix a new pollination-trial.
    The interest for Angraecoids is low due to some reasons but the interest of cultivators abusing rare botanical species in order to have them registered as any weird cross in the RHS is high. This has to be avoided.
    We are close getting Aerangis carnea in propagation and it will be the same as mentioned above à seedlings are resulting in smallest quantities only.

    The Alliance´s aims are to support but simultaneously it´s an easy way to get to cheap plants and never supporting the Alliance´s purpose back.

    Which laboratory else is skilled and experienced in tissue-culture? This is often necessary as a second clone is missing.

    The Alliance should be represented world-wide. Due to the restrictions in law I keep it for essential that there´s a representative of the Alliance upon each continent. I can imagine caring for the Alliance´s interests upon Europe.
     
  4. Brian Brown

    Brian Brown Member

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    I would join and help out enthusiastically. At least I could grow and care for plants, making crosses within species. I could collect and grow plants of a couple of species, in addition to my regular collection.

    I am also interested in in situ conservation.
     
  5. theLab

    theLab Member Supporting Member

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    I posted my thoughts about the logistics of this method of membership 2 weeks ago - hoping it will come to any exchange in ideas, imaginations, perspectives ...

    Even for the case I get banned:
    1) shall "the Angraecoid Alliance" be restricted to America only? At least it comes to me more and more.
    2) are any laboratories already found to care for the in-vitro-propagation? Have some labs already been contacted?
    3) shall only American labs be charged with the propagation?
    4) "foster the in-situ conservation of angraecoids by establishing a free-trade orchid nursery in connection with a conservation reserve" ... has it been already cleared who will observe the in-situ conservation upon Madagascar? And what happens if they don´t obey to your imagination?
    5) the Botanical Garden in Vienna supported the foundation of an in-vitro-Lab for the propagation of orchids upon Madagascar. This was 10 years ago - and nothing was heard anymore. The lab was closed finally.
    6) I would be astonished if any plants from Madagascar are propagated in-vitro within Madagascar. Of those gardeners I know upon Madagascar they charge labs in Thailand and Taiwan for doing that. Or they whistle upon the propagation and take those plants farmers bring to them directly from the forests. The latter is the usual procedure upon Madagascar, let´s say it clear, we aren´t blind.
    7) Why inviting commercial growers to take profit from the Alliance´s work? Please explain that to me. We all shall work on a low-cost-level .. "ESC status members participate by donating pollen, setting seed pods and /or donating flasking services to the project." ... do you plan to persuade commercial growers giving Angraecoids almost for free then, too?
    8) If the Alliance shall be meant as a collaboration of Angraecoid-enthusiasts all over the world ... how do you think will flasks move from America to Europe, or from Europe to Australia vice versa? Who pays for Phyto?
    Anyhow this hasn´t been cleared although I pointed at that already months ago but got no reply.
    9) I pointed at the necessity to have a representative of the Alliance upon every continent who knows the local addresses and facultative sources for material, be it in plants, seeds or in pollinia of his continent well. Once more ... no reply to my proposal but I keep that for essential !!
    10) 10 USD Membership per year ... no problem, little money for a huge project but spent for what in detail? Will we ever get informed what happened with the money? Is it meant as a donation?
    11) I sent the newsletter I gratefully received days ago to some of my Angraecoid mates here upon Europe, to Australia and to New Zealand. The echo was almost uniform ... rather cautiousness than euphory.
    Reason (and sorry for saying it in direct words): it looks like a global call to join in something one will never take profit from by receiving material, pollinia, seeds or plants back. To most of my mates (including myself) it looks like if the Angraecoid growers in America kindly invite the rest of the world to ship material to there you are actually lacking of (second clones, different species, ...) and finally be happy to have this material propagated within America and finally distributed by commercial growers there as well. America is happy and shining. No sentence inside the newsletter offers a method how Angraecoid-growers upon other continents can contribute having the same rights and the same chances to get supported.
    12) Both, the idea of the Alliance and its aims are doubtlessly to support but to my mind essential parts of the procedure and how it shall work at all are neither mentioned nor cleared within the newsletter. No hint to laboratories who are charged with the in-vitro-propagation, no details how to cover their costs (take note: the seedlings are cultivated there for 18 - 36 months under artificial conditions which alas cost money), no details how the distribution shall take place, no details how the pollinia-exchange will take place, where can the need of a pollen be posted, where and how can I let others know that I have pollinia available? If someone from Europe will send you seeds of Aerangis stelligera to America ... how will he/she gets to the seedlings finally he/she has the right to get refunded? How can we re-support someone from New Zealand being aware of the restrictions that not even seeds can be sent to New Zealand legally? For me and my mates it looks like (also after getting no reply to my comments in the past concerning these topics) that the centre of the Alliance is located in America and the interests are American interests and all the Angraekoid-growers of the globe are invited to support these American interests including commercial growers there. There´s no word, not a single one, how transcontinental collaboration could work, is in preparation to make it possible. And therefore ...
    13) the newsletter came too early before having essential parts cleared - my opinion and written from the European point of view. And I don´t think mates in Australia or New Zealand who partly keep an outstanding Angraecoid-collection will see it differently than I do at the moment.
     
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  6. Reyna

    Reyna Orchid Obsessed Supporting Member

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    Hey Matthias,
    You raise some good questions. Yes, it is certainly intended to be a global initiative. Nearly half of the newsletters sent out were outside of the US. I'd be happy to chat with you about your suggestions and thoughts. Why don't you email me or give me a call. Thanks, Sarah
     
  7. Magnus A

    Magnus A Ph.D.

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    I would like to support this kind of activity but I do only see a organisation to spread "new" species in the US and give some commersial growers more income. The actually preservation in nature seams to be a dream to validate growers need for expanding their collection with rare species...
    I second the consern of theLab above!
     
  8. Brian Brown

    Brian Brown Member

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    Magnus - what would you like to see to improve things?
     
  9. Brian Brown

    Brian Brown Member

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    I imagine we all agree that it is a good idea to get one rare species, for a start, in flasks. The cost of the flasking should be paid in full by Alliance members. The seedlings should then be distributed to Alliance growers who agree never to sell the plants, but to keep them indefinitely or give them back.

    Do we all agree with this?

    B
     
  10. theLab

    theLab Member Supporting Member

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    I put my words here already 2 weeks ago because I would like to let others know what I keep for positive and where I see obstacles if not severe troubles at all. I think this has to be cleared in public and not within a call or chat among us both, think I. And I didn´t expect it finally causes so little interest only. And I do want to point at the problems as this serves more than being happy, contented and subscribing to everywhere.
    I can only speak for the ex-situ-conservation as my imagination that founding a properly working rescue-station upon Madagascar is a far dream and whilst looking for possibilites and solutions to build up an intact and trusting (!) in-situ-conservation a lot of precious water and time runs by.

    The basic of an ex-situ-conservation over all continents can only work via pollinia and seeds. No flasks and no plant-exports as these are too expensive, risky. But if I recall the recent past when I was proctorized asking for pollen/seeds here in public I wonder how it will work in the future then? Obviously we are partly talking about plants some keepers are scared admitting that they have these plants in their cultivation, right? This means every inquiry and every donation of pollinia/seeds obviously have to be done in secret when the sharing has to take place among different continents. I don´t think this sounds inviting to cultivators living outside from America.

    Do you agree to that the basic is the sharing of pollinia and seeds? If so it immediately requires the existence of trusting laboratories upon each continent. It has no sense having the material being propagated in America expecting having it sent to Europe then (150 USD for Phyto - am I right?). Propagation = sowing has to take place simultanously in several labs and upon several continents.

    And it takes skillful keepers of Angraecoids knowing how to treat deflasked seedlings. It´s not about a Phal-hybrid. Apart from the postage, the costs of propagating the plants, distributing the seedlings, ... this takes a lot of money. And at the end of all the tough work there´s a commercial grower positioned who gratefully then makes the big money by putting these plants onto his list offering them to everyone who pays?
    That´s an absolute no-go to me. I don´t breed, raise and cultivate endangered (!) plants to handle them to a commercial grower. Before I do that I will eat them up :). The final aim of an ex-situ-conservation is offering the plants to skilled growers, to Botanical Gardens, to botanic institutions and from all of them I will know I will get plant-material back when needed for having the propagation repeated. Does a commercial grower ask for any address of his customer? But for a proper ex-situ-conservation we urgently need the destination of the plants and to where they have gone. Otherwise it was all in vain !!! My lab is supported by seeds and pollinia from many Botanical Gardens. But I am not allowed selling these plants, if I did - I am kicked out. An honest conservation program should never, never and once more never even think of the word "commerce". If it tastes after a commerce all the doors of a Botanical Gardens which are obliged to the conservation are locked for good!! So mentioning commercial-growers in your Newsletter was a mistake, Sarah, to my mind. And all BoGa´s which got the Newsletter will make their mind upon that. Not the best start, think I.

    I don´t want to lock out commercial growers as most of them dispose of a private collection. But I definetely don´t want to see any seedling stemming from an ex-situ-conservation ending on a sales-list, are you with me?

    There are so many open questions longing for an answer before having released the first newsletter. It really came to a lot of my mates here that America will do its special, personal thing wrapped in a word called "conservation" and actually needing the rest of the world´s support in order to succeed in that. That isn´t meant rude but this exactly is how it appeared outside from America.

    Think it over and turn it around, Sarah, if I had founded such an Alliance here upon Europe. I am pretty sure it wouldn´t have taken long until you asked "and how can I (Sarah) take profit from that, 7000 miles farther away?" ... and my answer was, "hm .... I don´t know, I don´t have any idea."

    You described your plans and ideas in the Newsletter but didn´t mention any solution for the huge mountains of obstacles which still have to be moved away before the path is clear to set the first steps.

    So ... to my mind ! ...
    - a representative of the Alliance upon each continent making sure that all those who support the Alliance from his continent are supported back.
    - at least one lab upon every continent (for the beginning a single lab will be enough at least here upon Europe)
    - no sowing in secret or behind the backs of the others - transparency is the thing
    - labs are link-ed and support each other with hints like contamination-rate, germination-rate, ...
    - detailled plan of what will happen to the seedlings
    - detailled documentation about the result and the distribution of the plants
    - and ... no commercial-grower or commercial intention in an ex-situ-conservation-program. This is something I am really stubborn and already too old (or too experienced ;) ) to change my attitude.
     
  11. Brian Brown

    Brian Brown Member

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    How much does it cost for your lab to produce seedlings (I presume you are donating your time- maybe not) from a single pod? It might be that $150 for a phytosanitary permit might not be much of an expenditure if it is necessary. If it costs (and this is just a wild guess) $200 in supplies and $150 for a mailing permit, then we know what we are dealing with - $350/flasking.

    Nobody thinks that "saving" orchid species is going to be inexpensive, do they?
    B
     
  12. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I charge $50 USD for an international phyto to cover one shipment (no matter how many flasks are in it) and that includes a bit to cover the time and gas in going to the Ag Dept for the inspection. CITES is not involved in pollen and/or seed shipments. Individual countries may require a phyto to ship it legally and others don't.
     
  13. Reyna

    Reyna Orchid Obsessed Supporting Member

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    For those of you who don't know what we are talking about or what has prompted this -- over the weekend, the first newsletter of the Angraecoid Alliance was sent. Most of them were mailed a hard copy, but a few were sent via email. So if you haven't received one yet, give it a couple of days. If you don't receive one in the mail, please email me or PM me and I will be sure to get you on the list.

    Matthias, First of all -- you seem to have the wrong impression. This has never been about excluding anyone or "stealing" seed/pollen from rare plants for distribution exclusively in the US. You are right, if there were such an organization in Europe, I would want to know how to participate. And yes there are many, many details with shipping flasks or seedlings internationally.

    I purposefully did not get into that level of detail because so much of it will depend on who wants to participate in which countries. Now, before you jump up and say "how can we know if we want to participate without the details," surely you will agree that (1) this is an ambitious endeavor (2) that the participants will largely determine both how successful the program is and (3) that all the members / participants will also determine how the organization operates.

    I would prefer not to limit the participants/members to only Botanical Gardens or only to private collections. Certainly, there are those who are immediately offended by the idea of commercial growers being involved at all--as you seem to be. The purpose of this whole idea is not to provide commercial vendors with a new rare species that they can sell for a big profit. I do think, however, that it would be a mistake to exclude the many world-wide commercial orchid nurseries who have extensive angraecoid collections and/or experience breeding and flasking the various species. I agree that it serves no purpose to pool the collections of various private growers who are passionate about conservation just to provide nursery stock for a few vendors. That is not the objective and not the reason the commercial nurseries were invited.

    As for the Alliance paying for all the permits etc., I would love for that to be possible. Unless and until the Alliance has either sufficient members, high membership fees or a generous benefactor, I don't know that it will be possible. Initially at least, the simplest solution would be for seed and/or pollen to be distributed via mail. The seed could be sown in various labs around the world and the actual plants distributed accordingly. Now, again, before you get upset, there are many complications to that as well, I know. What if the flasks germinate in France, but not anywhere else? What if the donors are from the US and Australia, but the seed is sown in Norway?

    I apologize if it seemed that the entire project was intended to take place in and benefit growers in the US. That is absolutely NOT the intention or purpose of the program.

    From this point, I envision the following:
    1) Interested individuals, such as you I think, will respond to the newsletter.

    2) Presumably, there will be many people with many different opinions as to how the Alliance should operate and what the restrictions should be. These ideas and opinions will be pooled and a list of bylaws created for the ESC project. The bylaws will be circulated to the individuals who have expressed an interest. Once the bylaws are approved by the group, individuals can choose whether to participate or not. As you will note, the newsletter says that the members will determine how the ESC project is run.

    3) It is clear based on this exchange that some clarification is required as to the "rules" governing the flasking programs. At this point the rules haven't been determined, precisely because the membership of the Alliance should decide the rules and perimeters as a group. I will contact each of the individuals and groups who received the newsletter and clarify that point.

    Matthias, I cannot promise that each and every one of your recommendations will be adopted. Likewise, I cannot guarantee that every one of my own ideas will be either. I have, however, copied them down and will include them in the draft of the ESC "rules" so that they will be part of the discussion. You have valid concerns and raise issues that do need to be resolved. I am confident others will raise concerns that neither of us have yet raised.

    I have never claimed to have the only answers. I do feel strongly about conservation and have decided to do something about it, rather than just talk about it. There is no way to work out all of the minutia without getting some idea of who wants to participate. Conservation should be a world-wide initiative. It must start somewhere, but there has never been an intention that this Alliance be restricted to the U.S. I sincerely hope that others will join in the effort because the collective efforts would be better than anything I could individually achieve.
     
  14. theLab

    theLab Member Supporting Member

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    Brian, thanks for your question, that´s indeed an essential one.
    Most labs expect a sowing-fee already before the seeds are put onto the medium. This has to be paid in any case anyway i it comes to a germination or not. This fee shall cover the costs if the seeds fail (not-viable, heavy contaminated with pod-fragments or germs).
    We see it differently and have never demanded such a fee because we don´t keep it for justified, especially when the sowing fails and the result is zero what sometimes happen at x-self, older seeds, ... . When receiving seeds we put them under the microscope - the result is given within a few seconds embryos yes, hardly to discover or no embryos at all. What shall we get paid for that? In the last case it has no sense to start the sowing and the seed-owner will be informed. No sowing - no costs. We keep that for fair.

    Next step if we know the seeds are already older ... we add one trop of tetrazol ... positive reaction means the embryos are still alive --> sowing will be commenced.
    We have a high turn-over of medium and get it from a big, spezialiced company from Europe. And as we distribute/sell this medium for them we get our part of medium for free. Green banana we get directly from Costa Rica ... once more we get them for free. So we can usually work on a low-cost level referring the equipment.

    About 3-5% of our total sowings are part of a conservation-program. As conservation strikes my heart you are right - we are donating our time. That´s easy to do as having one flask more or less in our daily task doesn´t count.

    Basically conservation-programs do not work over the quantity of resulting seedlings. It has no use to reproduce 1.000 seedlings. Often, when the seedlings remain upon Europe [Botanical Gardens], 30 - 50 seedlings per species is far enough. It depends how tricky the sowing is, sometimes it takes 4 replates, sometimes just 2. Some sowings remain in our lab for 18 months, some take longer, averagely Angraecoids require an in-vitro-period of 24 months +/-.
    We re-use flasks - so don´t want to be paid for them either.

    So no costs for our work, no costs for the medium but costs for keeping the lab-on the run and the electricity/heating. So all in all we get 1.50 - 2.00 Euro refunded per seedling, what means we haven´t put any coin into our own pocket. To us a conservation-program is a kind of creed. The further keepers (in a task of conservation I would like to avoid the term *owner*) are charged for postage.

    Brian, consider it´s about Angraecoids - who the hell is interested in Angraecoids. Would they the plants weren´t endangered. I am pretty sure for an European-ratio a quantity of 30 - 50 seedlings per species will be far enough. Nobody appreciates the boring white Angraecoids. And if only the half will survive in culture the rest is enough to repeat a pollination and propagation whenever it is needed.

    What´s the problem when producing more: = more on costs and the risk is higher that any idiot takes the species for a hybrid-purpose. Then there´s the risk of obtaining contaminated genes 5 - 7 years later and a plant which likely assembles the species and is none but a hybrid. Quality counts more than quantity.

    Take a look onto our homepage there´s an English button, too, so that you can understand it better ... www.laminarflow.at

    On the page of the sowing-programs you will find the entire list of the sowings we are actually working on. The owners are named by a code, there´s a column telling whether we still have seeds stored, the next columns inform about the sowing (S), replate (Rep) added with the date always, and finally the columns of the different seedlings-stages, from protocorms until the seedlings ready for deflask (stage IV).
    About the half of the sowings are locked, thus belong to the owners only and we are not allowed to deal/trade with.
    As mentioned, for most conservation-projects it´s enough to produce seedlings in low quantities only. This bears 2 advantages, the owner most often doesn´t expect more seedlings and to the second although the interest after locked sowings is partly very high we simply cannot give them further as we aren´t allowed and of course keep to this and we simply don´t have surplus plants to offer when surplus plants aren´t there :)

    Please take note, here´s Austria and it´s 1 am and I should go for sleep, good night
    Matthias
     
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  15. theLab

    theLab Member Supporting Member

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    Sarah, you keep me busy ... ;)
    Well - take note that the most part of plants we maybe will have access to and should not ignore this - is located in Botanical Gardens. Kew Gardens for instance keeps more from Madagascar´s orchids than plants are still living upon that island. What do you think will happen when I turn to Dr. Johan Hermans asking for pollinia for a conservation-program and he discovers that plants will end in a nursery meant for commerce, too, because the Alliance´s rule keeps the door opened for that. I suppose he won´t be amused, neither by my inquiry nor by the destination of the seedlings. I don´t know the laws in America or Australia but I am well informed about the rules upon Europe. Plants and plant-material from Botanical Gardens are locked for any sort of commerce. When getting material from BoGa Herrenhausen I have to subscribe not to bring it in association with any sort of commerce.

    Ok, it won´t be not your decision alone but of the entire Alliance whether to try to get Botanical Gardens into the boat as well, or to dispense with them just to make a commercial grower satisfied. To my mind I would rather exclude a commercial grower than a Botanical Garden. The BoGa´s are full with ochids until their roofs, with Angraecoids, too, but they are strict against it to offer anything, not even a leaf-tip, when it tastes after commerce. Likely that´s different to America.

    There´s no commercial-grower who keeps more than the Botanical Gardens have. If you are seeking after Aerangis stelligera for instance don´t watch out in Africa, don´t seek at a commercial grower but be sure you will find several clones at Kews. I don´t want to exclude commercial-growers referring their private collection but I don´t want to see any of those endangered orchids being listed for sale then.

    Moreover I keep that for unfair - provided we will obtain seeds sent to our lab, should I disperse some seedlings to the European Alliance members and selling 2000 seedlings to a whole-seller then? Or shall I give him the 2000 seedlings for free being naive asking him not to sell them and if then to a reasonable discount?

    I have occupied with ex-situ-conservation for almost 12 years now and believe me it´s a hard job and often takes years to persuade someone donating a single pollen we urgently require in order to avoid a self-x. Could you imagine he would rather agree donating material when there´s the risk "his plant´s kids and only pride" will be propagated to thousands and then sold, being available everywhere. When giving commercial-growers access to that program we do not only exlude Botanical Gardens, we exclude the majority of private-keepers as well. Consider ... they are collectors and keep sainthoods.
    Bylaws?
    Last aspect, we have more than 100 orchid-nurseries upon Europe. 10 USD annual fee for the membership is nothing to them in order to join and to obtain the right to get to material. Then the project has blasted just before it has started.

    Before I subscribe I have to know and get well informed about the direction the Alliance is planning to walk. Right in time and not afterwards receiving any bylaws.
    No sorry, under that circumstances I can´t imagine to follow.

    peace,
    I have to go to sleep and maybe we should wait on the opinion of those who want to contribute at the Allicance. My head is bloody but my stubborness still alive.
     
  16. Brian Brown

    Brian Brown Member

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    A possible scenario: we decide to "do" Angraecum dolii. Sarah and Magnus donate the pollen and pod, respectively. A call is made for donations to support the attempt, because only 20 people registered with Sarah, and the $200 is long-gone. I donate $200. It costs 50 seedlings x 2 euros/ seedling = 1oo euros, or $125/ per flasked species attempt. Add mailing/ permit costs for distribution to growers (whoever they will be), payable by the Alliance members on a per country basis (to limit the number of shipments, one person in each country receives and further distributes to others receiving plants).

    Questions:

    When the plants are ready, the Alliance decides who gets what? Do only Sarah and Magnus? And Brian? Or anyone in the Alliance who pays for shipping and agrees to make pollen available?

    B
     
  17. theLab

    theLab Member Supporting Member

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    Sarah already mentioned the order in the Newsletter:
    (1) The pollen / pod / flasking donors of that seed capsule;
    (2) ESC status members of the Angraecoid Alliance;
    (3) Members of the Alliance and the public (and the public)

    I could imagine setting a ranking of the orchids which shall be propagated and finally dispersed:
    *Released ones / for those which are commonly in stock like Aergs. mystacidii, articulata, rhodosticta, Angrcm didieri, erectum, equitans, ... - distributed to all members of the Alliance. I would recommend to start with that at all in order to check how it works, what has to be improved or totally changed.
    *Restricted ones / for those which are rarely seen like Aergs. pumilio, Angrcm. pectinatum, ...
    *Locked sowings - refunding the seedlings to certain group-members only, Aergs. jacksonii, maireae, ...


    I would be interested about the opinion of some Angraekoid-enthusiasts here like T.Migratoris, Calvin, Jacob, Marni, Gilles, MrBreeze, ... . I think I posted my point of view and expressed my concern about the one or the other topic in detail. I have no problem being isolated in a corner when you will see it completely different than I do but I cannot appraise your silence actually, don´t you have ... an opinion, an imagination how it should work, how it could work?

    Why not turning around totally to 180° and make the propagation to a totally commercialized setting? We care to flood the market here upon Europe, you care for it in America and the Australian ones do theirs, too. The profit flues back to the Alliance minus the lab-costs and there maybe will be money left to realize some of the in-situ-ideas. Never the less in that case I imagine that the base of pollen-/seed-donators will be very limited then. For a skilled lab it´s easy to initiate a tissue-culture resulting in 100.000 plants from 100 protocorms. That ain´t the thing just a matter of costs.

    Generally the direction has to be cleared:
    a) ex-situ-conservation without commercial growers get access to the result =
    conservation

    or

    b) propagation of rare plants and making profit =
    Marketing-strategy. As mentioned in that case I fear the base of the pollen/seed-donators will be missing then for that project when it´s like copying the Mauritius Blue stamp and make it cheaply available to everyone. What doubtlessly benefits the Conservation and Preservation will simultaneously be a thorn in the heart of the individual collector. How to start at all when there´s hardly a collector to offer material? We cannot attrack him with sweets and cakes.

    To me there´s no way in the middle between a and b like giving some commercial growers just a few plants for their stock dealing and trading with. It´s an "either - or"

    Generally it´s not about Angraecoids only it´s a general question if anyone is ready to donate pollen of some of his most precious plants when being aware it gets straight into an unlocked propagation and all can be served including commercial nurseries. Couldn´t we start a poll here ignoring it will be about Angraecoids only but rarest plants of all genus?
     
  18. Reyna

    Reyna Orchid Obsessed Supporting Member

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    Location:
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    Good morning Matthias and Brian,
    Your opinions are valid and I appreciate your thoughts on the Alliance. You are welcome to continue a discussion, but I feel like I should say that the particulars of the Angraecoid Alliance and the ESC project will be determined by a number of people, many of whom are not even members of this forum. I am not going to "require" that people respond with their ideas here and I cannot bind the Alliance to terms "decided" here. I have received email responses from a few people already and I anticipate more in the coming week as all of the hard copies of the newsletter are delivered.

    That is not because I want the rules to be decided in secret, but because there are many people who would prefer to present their ideas in a less combative venue. I have already saved your comments to a document file along with others I have received. The policies and "rules" of the Alliance will be very public and will be drafted by the membership at large, not a single individual.

    There isn't much more I can add here. I would like to hear from as many people who are interested in the Angraecoid Alliance before committing to any particular plan or set of rules. :D
     
  19. theLab

    theLab Member Supporting Member

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    that´s ok, Sarah. Take your time you need. For a promising project the fundmanent has to be solidly built. No haste.
     
  20. oisifml

    oisifml Active Member

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    Location:
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    As a new-comer , orchid beginner, fairly naïve fellow and not being of English mother tongue I have been reading this post with stupefaction and awe; at least the little amount I could understand.
    It is true that most angraecum are not very sexy orchids with , at it has been said, boring whitish flower ( sometime greenish or yellowish)… often indiscernible plants…and not always easy to grow.
    But they do attract some fanatics who wish to perpetuate them in their incredible minuscule diversity and this is a good thing and like Clemenceau once said about war “ that it was too important to leave it only to the military” the same could be said about the preservation of angreacoids it needs the good will and the help of all. Scientists, hobbyist , commercial growers and last but not least, inhabitants of Madagascar.
    Now most commercial growers grow and develop.. plants that sell… so there are a few classical commercial angraecum out there that sell well ( always the same.. let’s say about 20 or so of them) the growers however have acquired a unique experience in the sowing and breeding of the plants, it would be foolish not to accept their experience and infrastructure if by chance one would offer it.
    Now it seems to me like a urban legend that someone might make a big buck getting 2000 seeds of a rare orchid and getting 1000 plants out of them and retiring to.. Florida a made millionaire , sure we all read the orchid thief and you can always dream.For one thing , you can only go so far in the pricing of seedlings, at least in Europe, and only the hardcore collector would want those plants and those collectors exchange info, seed pods and plants in between themselves in a emulating and noncommercial way so after a few years , the rare orchid may become more available to all. Nowadays when you pay big bucks for an angraecum specimen it is mainly because it is .. big and you are paying the years it has been sitting in the greenhouse.
    Moreover, because sowing technique and material is now more widespread and available it is not left anymore to the elite scientific agricultural labs to do the propagation. In fact I guess the labs in the Netherlands and Asia that spurn out those all hybrid orchids are pretty dam good at what they do as they have made hybrid phalaenopsis the most popular and available potted plant in the world and they probably have the best technique. As for the simple collector, with trial and error there is a lot you can do on your kitchen table.

    In fact scientist sometimes enjoy living in what can be called the syndrome of accumulation…the most extensive seed bank, the greatest herbarium. I can only give the example of angraecum palmatum of the Réunion island not seen since 1870 rediscovered in 1993 by a botanist, the in vitro propagation was botched ( scientific pride! no outside help was accepted ) and the mother plant died( lack of adequate care). No worries! it is now a glorious specimen in a herbarium and other scientists can consult it. It is cool to know there are seeds of rare angraecum in some geological gardens and even some real plants but I’d love it if there were some more made available to the common folk that long for them…Actually some Botanical gardens have gotten the great idea to sell seedling of some of their best plants… Saves the taxpayer some money.

    And it is true some great collections can have a sad ending and be dispersed away. Not long ago the nursery of Marcel Lecoufle in France closed its doors. There were some good reasons for this; not least the age of Mr. Lecoufle and succesoral issues but it is an open secret that like all other growers the bulk of his income in the later years came from the sale of hybrid phaleanopsis bought the day before from the Netherlands.
    The famed Lecoufle collection of Madagascan orchids was dispersed away, some in Canada and the rest to the Museum of natural History. I was told by a cognoscenti that what stayed in France is not getting the care it deserves but that is hearsay…

    The people that get the least from this, let us not forget, are the inhabitants of Madagascar . The exceptional flora and fauna of the island is being looted .It is in such a poor political and economic situation that it cannot even imagine on a large scale the benefits of ecotourism.
    So I think it is not important who makes a buck or not, whether it all happens in America ( and I am no fan of the American way) or elsewhere , what is important is to realize we need all the help and good will we can get from all sources before bickering on the fine little print .The aim after all is to establish pure good botanical strains and avoid hybrid plants, exchange pollen, keep an accurate listing of the specimen available and also to encourage some commercial growers to diversify their offer in angraecoids.
    And also effort should be made to try to understand what is being done In Madagascar for the native orchids. Perhaps more communication there.
    Those are all my ramblings for today.
     
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