National Collections?

The_DollmakerJuly 15, 2004

Hi all. I have been hanging around the plant i.d. forums and decided to branch out a little! Here's what's on my mind. In England, if you have every known variety of any plant, you can apply to be designated as the host of the National Collection of that plant. There is a guy who has the National Collection of clematis, a school that has the National Collection of euphorbia, et cetera. Obviously you have to be sociable as well as dedicated. I wonder if there has ever been a movement to do this kind of thing in the U.S.? I doubt I could fit the National Collection of anything on my little quarter acre, but some of my neighbors could pull it off.

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)


Are you talking about the Henry Doubleday organization? As far as I know there is no National organization in England for preservation of varieties. The HDRA used to do something along that line but they have branched out now into different areas.

In the US we do have the USDA which maintains collctions for various veggies, primatily for the use of prfessional breeders, not fo r home use, but not flowers. And they do the maintenance, whether good or bad.

We also have Seed Savers Exchange which has played a vital role in the preservation of heirloom varieties of veggies, grains, fruits,etc.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2004 at 12:50PM
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Here's the official site - to my knowledge, nobody in the U.S. has attemnpted this.

Here is a link that might be useful: England, National Collections

    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 7:25AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

to my knowledge, nobody in the U.S. has attemnpted this.

They have, but in a different way.

And thanks for the link.

SSE started out farming out varieties but it was dismal failure based on many reasons.

As the SSE currently exists, re veggies, grains, fruit trees, it seems to work, most of the time and varieties are being maintained and new ones entering all the time.

But there is no indovodual assignment of varieties. Folks look and see which varieties have the least listings and then try to fill in.

And there are other smaller groups attemptiong to do the same thing.

As far as perennials go, there are the various associations that do promote preservation and do have seed/tuber/rhizone swaps.

But not nationally organized; you join the ones you want, not unlike the National Collections.

What the US has that England doesn 't, is the USDA maintined national seed preservation/storage system, which is invaluable, but only for veggies, grains, etc.

And there are numerous organizations for preservation and maintenance of heirloom fruit tree varieties.

So yes, in terms of the separate rock garden, c chrysanthemum, Hemerocallis, rose societies and those commercial folks also involved I do think we have the equivalent.

I do think that more folks in England will take on a personal project than here in the US where so many folks want instant this and that.

But actually the HDRA section dealing with this exact same concept that the National Collections have, folded due to lack of committment and follow thru on the part of individuals.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 11:36AM
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