Donating plant material to science
I am fascinated by plant mutation and variation and peculiar things are always catching my eye in nurseries and gardens. Many of these are things I have propagated or will try to propagate, but sometimes they seem just a little out of the scope of my abilities or range of interest. For example, I have an Angelica archangelica growing in my garden that has one patch of variegation on one leaf. I posted a picture in the foliage gallery. For another example, I have a leucothoe fontanesiana 'Scarletta' plant that has thrown up one albino shoot. I've posted that in the shrub gallery and I'll link below. Anyway, I am hoping that the albino shoot will throw a sport of its own that is variegated and self sustaining, but I don't know if there is any real scientific basis for this expectation. And I do want to get into tissue culture and would love to experiment on that patch of variegated Angelica leaf, but the chances of my getting started while the leaf is still viable seems slim.
Anyway, it would be nice if someone like me knew where to get in contact with plant scientists for academic benefit. Or if there was a place I could list these kooky occurrances and the scientists could see what if anything corresponded with their interests. I know that if the mutation looked immediately marketable, a nursery would be glad to assist and then if the plant material was multiplied it would be available to science as it was needed, but in some cases, like the two examples I've given, I don't think nurseryman would be too interested. I would feel better about donating to science anyway. Seems like a nice idea, doesn't it?