Return to the Bromeliad Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
an ethical question about collecting...

Posted by blutarski (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 10, 09 at 17:52

I was in Disneyworld last week, staying at their New Orleans style resort. The trees in and around the resort, and throughout the parks in general, had a healthy covering of spanish moss and other tillies.

Now, I would never pick tillies from a tree. But, I was fortunate to find spanish moss and a clumps of tillies on the ground. I brought a small piece of SM and a nice clump of tills home with me.

My rationalization was that the grounds crew (which was quite active while I was there) was going to sweep the plants up and toss them anyway. And when would I get a chance at a wild tilly again? (Hint: never.) Giving them a shot at prolonged life with me has to be better than death in a trash heap, right?

Or, am I a dastard.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

I stole a neo 'fireball' pup from the front garden of a house in my neighbourhood while I was going for run one night. I don't feel guilty, it was a massive clump of fireball.

I'm pretty sure your in the clear.


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

As for the Disney plants I don't see a problem.
dan2805, as for taking a plant from someone's yard just because the clump was large? If the person asked, no problem. Otherwise you're nothing but a common thief. There's more I'd like to add but my sensibility is getting the better part of me.


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

Didn't mean to offend anyone.


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

Sorry Dan, if it was my whatever plant and somebody would have trimmed it whitout asking I would have been upset.
What if this person was planning on growing a big clump and you just screwed up his/her plan?
Even if circumstances looked like it did not matter you took it, you should have asked and am sure he/she would have given you one or more. If it was for e.g. the next show as a big clump entry he/she would not have given you anyway. At least not before the show. I have never seen somebody not giving a piece.
It is better to ask first eve if the outcome (you having the plant) was the same. I am sure that person would have given you one. But, let her/him make the decision over her/his own plants.

The Disneyland case is OK for me too.


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

I share with everybody but would really rather you ask.

I did have a neo Martin blow into my yard during Hurricane Wilma. I kept it.

I tilly on the ground followed me home from Girl Scout camp.

End of True Confessions.


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

The Disney World thing sounds like it was probably no big deal, particularly if they were a) naturally occurring vegetation (rather than having been planted), and b) otherwise destined for the dumpster, as you suspect. I might have assessed the situation and made the same call. If you saw grounds crew at work, though, the best thing would have been to ask. Having spent several years working in the gardens of a commercial tourist attraction, and also as an occasional volunteer at a nearby botanic garden, plant and flower thieves were the bane of my existence! I've had people pick the flowers from a clearly marked orchid display or twist a big heliconia bloom in an unsuccessful attempt to remove it, and then just leave it dangling there, grrrr. When caught in the act, one family even argued that since they had paid their money to get in, they were entitled to take whatever they wanted! What kind of example are they setting for their kids? Clearly spanish moss is not in the same league, particularly if it's wild and plentiful, but if one of the broms I had taken the trouble to mount on the trees had fallen to the ground, I probably would have attempted to reattach it rather than throw it out. You just don't know. On the other hand, I have been known to avail myself of SEEDS from botanic gardens, but only if it seemed fairly obvious they weren't being harvested for propagation. It's kind of a grey area, so it's best to ask-- meaning someone involved with the grounds, not the ticket seller or some administrative employee who won't know, and will most likely give you the run-around just on general principles. ;-)

Taking something from someone's yard without permission, however, is not okay, whether it's a fruit from their tree or a flower from the front hedge or a cutting. ALWAYS ask! The only exception is if it's clearly bundled up in the trash, waiting for pick-up. Then it's up for grabs. I was out on an early morning walk a few years back and spied several discarded heliconia flowers in the trash, probably decorations from a party they'd had, since I didn't see any helis growing in their yard. One was a fairly uncommon species (H. bourgaeana) and absolutely loaded with seeds! I couldn't believe my luck, and started to fill my pockets. Just then the owners drove up and regarded me with considerable suspicion, LOL. I explained the situation and asked if they minded. They were fine with it, but if it had been growing in their yard I would have asked FIRST.


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

this reminds me: the tillies have seed pods in various states of development. is it ridiculously hard to start tills from seeds, or should I give it a go?


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

Hi everyone,

My opinion for what it's worth is this. If someone has a large clump of anything growing in their front yard it has been planted there for everyone to enjoy not just you.

For example I have heaps of recurvata growing in my front yard and am more than happy to give a plant to anyone who asks, but it really pi..es me off when someone wrecks the whole plant and tramples the garden bed trying to steal a pup. On the bright side, I'm sure they get spiked he! he! he!

If plants are growing in place so accessable to the passing public, the chances are the grower probably has more of it anyway, and as most brom growers are usually such friendly people and willing to help other growers, why not ask him/her for a piece, I'm sure they would be willing to help you.

All the best, Nev.


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

Having been to DW a few times, I can guess that you got usneoides and recurvata which very common and considered weeds by many.

I have plucked plenty of seeds from nurseries and lawns but I always ask. If the owner doesn't grow from seeds then they don't seem to care.


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

I agree that it's probably OK to take pieces of Spanish moss or clumps of T. recurvata that have fallen on the ground, if you happen to be in an area where these plants are indigenous and grow like weeds. I'll bet a lot of homeowners in Texas wouldn't mind someone "stealing" all of the ball moss on their live oaks.

But interestingly enough, the same question was raised in another forum about people who pick up little pieces of cactus or succulents in stores, neighbors' yards or public gardens, and a lot of posters were vehemently against it. It was like they'd call you a crook if you pinched a piece of ice plant growing in trash-filled vacant lot.

I don't get this. Some succulents grow every bit as promiscuously as Spanish moss or recurvata, especially here in SoCal, and I just don't see how any owner would be damaged by someone "stealing" a small cutting. It's kind of like accusing someone of stealing your air if they stand in front of your house and take a deep breath.

I probably would not take a piece of someone's clump of Neoregelia, but I have to admit I've helped myself to a few pieces of some plants and seeds of others, without asking the owners. I never took anything that I wouldn't want taken from myself. However, all this debate has forced me to search my conscience. I'm not so sure that I was always doing the right thing.


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

My next door neighbour (not a bad type really ) decided to help himself to a few of my broms ( he lives in the granny flat attached to where i live and we share common ground ) but unfortunatly for him he picked some Vr, that where one of a kind ( he does have good taste )repooted them in a mix that you can only get from South Australia by the pallet load and used my pots that you can only get direct from the manufacterer ,Put up a argument that he bought them at the markets ,when i pointed it all out to him he than said ,as i had so many what was the harm ? however we settled it amicable ,he returned my plants and i did 'nt beat the crap out of him ,later i gave him some hardy Neo's and now he guards the backyard with his life (litterally ), still is that any worse than the plant of 'Montezuma's Gem ' i donated for the Cairns world conference ( it was donated at the Port Macquarie reginal conference ,and had a opening bid for some $250 to be carried on at Cairns ) this plant was not produced for the rare plant auction by the person that took it up there ,and when questioned said she had a headache and would worry about it some other time ,is that also stealing ? to me once it was donated it belonged to the organizers ! am i unhappy about that ? you bet i am P @$#^%& D of. Maybe i am over sensitive ? what do you think ? cheers Jack


 o
RE: There's no getting away from the facts

Hi all,

There's no getting away from the facts.

If you take someone else's property without their permission, no matter what it is, you're stealing it, and that's the end of the story!!

All the best, Nev.


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

Jack, your neighbor must have a pair on him the size of pumpkins! I can't believe telling such bald-faced lies and then when caught out saying "what's the harm?" That's your life's work, that's what's the harm! I don't think I could have handled it so amicably.

As for the woman who appropriated your intended auction plant, I'd be plenty steamed about that too. She's taking money out of the society's coffers! We once booted a member out of our local group for less than that.


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

Yes Lisa ,he must have ,but he 's been a tad different since then,his girlfriend tore strips of him ,as for the missing plant ? she has a bit of a track record for this type of thing ( I did nt know it at the time) but i was very upset over that and still am. You can justify anything if you try hard enough ,but if its not yours and you take it ? i do feel that you have stolen it ,but perhaps in todays society we are a bit Draconian ? me thinks not ,Like you i finish up with plants i do'nt wish to shred yet do'nt really need them ,so i do at times give stuff away,( you can allways ask ) and yes HE was stealing part of my lifes work ,it may not be the worlds best ,but i am still fairly happy with it,Ethics is now a endangered species , Jack


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

ltecato,

I've thought about pinching off a roseate from a sempervivum or a sprig of sedum when I'm at a garden center. Here's how I split the hair, morally: If it's still on the plant, then I consider it stealing. Why buy a plant if you can just pull a piece off and take it? If it's fallen off, then I'd say, meh, probably not stealing. However, I'd never do it because I'd be mortally embarrassed if I got caught.

I have to admit, I did take some sedum that was growing in a really small patch of ground between a sidewalk and a telephone pole. It was not near the garden of the house, but it was obviously planted there by the owner (not native to Pennsylvania.) Worse, I had my daughter with me. She busted me and I admitted it was probably wrong. I 'threw it away' conveniently in the patch of my yard that I wanted it to grow.

I'd be happy to share something from my garden, but I've had potted plants stolen or vandalized and it steams me to no end. Also, I can understand how a person, even if not upset about the loss of part of a plant, wouldn't want their plants defaced.


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

Nev summed it up. Like Jack, plants of mine have been abducted at conferences and shows so I keep a good eye out esp on the really valuable ones. I have caught people out too but thieves are compulsive liars so they rarely admit it. Jack, somehow I missed that problem at the conferences!

Petty thieves who pocket a small Tillandsia or the like are a worry but the mongrels who steal for resale at markets etc (Ebay?) are an even bigger worry. I used to have a dobermann but now I have a vicious terrier (and brush turkeys) - just as scary!

'Ask' is the best policy, as many have said.

Pedro


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

Photobucket


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

Nev summed it up. Like Jack, plants of mine have been abducted at conferences and shows so I keep a good eye out esp on the really valuable ones. I have caught people out too but thieves are compulsive liars so they rarely admit it. Jack, somehow I missed that problem at the conferences!

Petty thieves who pocket a small Tillandsia or the like are a worry but the mongrels who steal for resale at markets etc (Ebay?) are an even bigger worry. I used to have a dobermann but now I have a vicious terrier (and brush turkeys) - just as scary!

'Ask' is the best policy, as many have said.

Pedro


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

I would be asking the appropriator of the conference donation to return the plant to you, unless they want you to name names. Alternately send an open letter to the Brom Society in question (without a name) and voice your disappointment that a member would act so disgracefully. Having said that we all know some people who will do anything to get a brom if they want it. I just wonder how many generous growers get "done over" by them just because they are too polite to "out them". These people are crooks plain and simple and prey on the good nature of others.


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

It would be easy to name the perpetrator ,she is well known ,and i have let a close relative of her know of the matter , there is the smallest possibility that the plant died ( ha ha ha ) i am not in the mood for any legal action that would follow if i did name her ,and as she is the secretary of that society ,would my complaint be acknowledged ? not a chance ,it would be a lost letter each time ! and you can work it out for yourself ,Cairns was the host society , and thats where it went ,with Madam secretary ,i shall say no more Plantsplus , Jack


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

Hmmm, I wonder how many people are being honest about taking plants, or peices of plants. I think it was very brave of Dan to come out and say so.
I'm sure bits and peices of mine have walked over the years, although nothing I've ever noticed, so in my case, nothing special or expensive.
I've had people ask for bits, and sometimes I have been reluctant if its a slow grower, new aquistion, or cost me a bit of money. If I had a clump of fireballs and someone took a bit, well, I don't think I would really notice.
I'm not saying its right, but I don't see how its any different to taking the peice from disneyworld, or seeds from botanic gardens, or anywhere else.
Thats my 2 cents, for what its worth.
BA


 o
RE: an ethical question about collecting...

GW bromeliad forum members are a very friendly group, it took me a bit of botching to get past the zone requirement but I do enjoy opening when I have a spare half hour not very often. I am very wary of internet forums as they can be used to very quickly assassinate the character of other persons, we have seen it in the past. A good example is the ill informed accusations about Keith Golinski then the apologies when he gave the facts. Sorry does not remove the mud!
In reply:
Friday 18 Dec: "It would be easy to name the perpetrator ,she is well known"
Yes it is me, Lynn Hudson, the Facilitator of the Council of Australian Bromeliad Societies, Secretary of Cairns Society and BSI Director all voluntary.

" i have let a close relative of her know of the matter"
Why has Jack not contacted me himself?
"you bet i am P @$#^%& D of." -
is a tragic waste of energy when this could have been sorted 18 months ago. You have stewed this in your mind until your accusations have become very dangerous.

" there is the smallest possibility that the plant died ( ha ha ha )"
Jack it is alive and well.

"i am not in the mood for any legal action that would follow if i did name her" -
What???? What is this prattle???

" she is the secretary of that society ,would my complaint be acknowledged ? not a chance ,it would be a lost letter each time!" -
This type of behaviour is not practiced by me. You do not know me Jack, I do not hide. I face up to my own actions and responsibilities.

Sat Dec 12: " the plant of 'Montezuma's Gem ' i donated for the Cairns world conference ( it was donated at the Port Macquarie reginal conference ,and had a opening bid for some $250 to be carried on at Cairns )"
At the time you said the plant was donated to Cairns Society for fundraising for the conference.
"this plant was not produced for the rare plant auction by the person that took it up there ,and when questioned said she said had a headache and would worry about it some other time" -
Jack did not at any time discuss this plant with me at the WBC or since. At the Auction Bob, my husband said there was an enquiry about the plant. I did not say I had a headache, I said "the grasshoppers made a feast of it", which was the truth, it was ragged.

From Lisa "As for the woman who appropriated your intended auction plant, I'd be plenty steamed about that too. She's taking money out of the society's coffers!
Taking money out?? Previously not publicly mentioned is that I put in over $5000.00 of my own money into WBC18, not to mention time, petrol, phone calls etc.

Plantsplus: "I would be asking the appropriator of the conference donation to return the plant to you" -
I am happy to return the plant to Jack. I was hesitant in taking the tiny seedling in the first place as I have all sizes of grasshoppers feed on my bromeliads.
" unless they want you to name names. Alternately send an open letter to the Brom Society in question (without a name) and voice your disappointment that a member would act so disgracefully."
This type of back door behaviour does not reap any good rewards. I prefer to work upfront and honestly.

"Having said that we all know some people who will do anything to get a brom if they want it. I just wonder how many generous growers get "done over" by them just because they are too polite to "out them". These people are crooks plain and simple " -
I am pretty well known as being too generous and honest. I seldom accept any plant without making payment.

As Len Trevor says: "As soon as someone stands up to do something, there are persons who just want to criticize and knock them down. In fact these same persons are simply jealous as they are not as capable as the person who is busy doing the job."
I was not paid to organize either the Port Macquarie or Cairns conferences. I also paid my own way just like every delegate.
This also applies to attending BSI conferences and board meetings. Officers and Directors pay our own airfares, accommodation registration etc., but we do get free lunch at board meetings! We are volunteers.

As Jack said "Ethics is now a endangered species". -
Surely personally getting the facts up front before making accusations is ethical.

I have just spoken to Jack. The plant will be up for Auction at the Darwin conference in April 2011.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Bromeliad Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here