Cypripedium acaule info

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terrestrial_man

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A good thread here-enjoyable exchange!

Here are my two cents worth. No discing intended.
There is definitely a need to develop the horticultural expertise to be able to grow and propagate our native orchids and other plants that may be endangered. Sadly for most they will slip away into obscurity before such occurs.
I am not too sure that this kind of success can be attained by amateurs though serendiptiy does happen where a novice can contribute significantly to the successful mastery of such cultivation efforts.
What is needed is for a concerted scientific/horticultural effort at the mastery of growing such plants as C. acaule so as to enable general commercial exploitation that would of itself protect native stands when availability is such that cost makes the desecration of natural habitats unprofitable. Yet are there any real efforts apart from those few enterprises that are slowly succeeding at in vitro production?
To my mind not enough! What I would like to see is an entire package of plant, substrate, and whatever else is required as a consumer package that would provide some degree of success provided cultural limitations are met.
The means to do so are available. The fact that no one is doing so is the barrier that prevents both an effective approach to protecting native stands and to providing the opportunity for the gardening public to embellish themselves with the beauty of these challenging plants.

Maybe this has been four bits worth!:)
 

Per

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First, I agree with the consensus that lab propagated Cyps are the way to go. I am happy to say that I have had the will power to pass up a few wild collection opportunities. Nevertheless, it is not my place to tell others what to do with their land, so I will stay out of the main debate.

Second, I have a slightly different ethical question for the group (it seemed natural to continue it here, so sorry if this is the wrong place – I’m new). My question is purely hypothetical. I have not wild collected pollen, nor do I plan to do so, but I was wondering about the ethics of that practice. Is it unethical to collect pollen from a wild stand to pollinate a specimen already in one's collection to create lab-grown specimens with greater genetic diversity (assume no harm to the stand beyond that to the individual flower)?

Thanks!
 

dave b

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so what ever happened

Were there ever any follow ups from this guy regarding his transplants?

Seems like one would be inclined to "show off" if successful, or run and hide in shame to never be seen again if they all died.

The outcome sounded bleak. Unfortunate.

Just curious.
 

gonewild

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Per said:
Second, I have a slightly different ethical question for the group (it seemed natural to continue it here, so sorry if this is the wrong place – I’m new). My question is purely hypothetical. I have not wild collected pollen, nor do I plan to do so, but I was wondering about the ethics of that practice. Is it unethical to collect pollen from a wild stand to pollinate a specimen already in one's collection to create lab-grown specimens with greater genetic diversity (assume no harm to the stand beyond that to the individual flower)?

Thanks!
Expect many different opinions.
I say it is perfectly OK.
But it is probably illegal to do so on public land.
 

kentuckiense

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NYEric said:
If you take the pollen away how will the wild plants be fertilized?!?
I don't think anyone is suggesting that taking ALL the pollen from a C. acaule population is acceptable. Taking pollen from a couple plants in a healthy population and then using it for conservation/propagation purporses seems ok in my book.
 

gonewild

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kentuckiense said:
I don't think anyone is suggesting that taking ALL the pollen from a C. acaule population is acceptable. Taking pollen from a couple plants in a healthy population and then using it for conservation/propagation purporses seems ok in my book.
That is what I assumed.
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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I have personally taken pollen from wild C. acaule in order to pollinate my plants on Long Island, but whenever possible, I pollinated the wild plants while I was at it. Also, if the only wild plant has a single bloom on a single growth, there is no damage, as you are contributing to the propagation of the species...and selfing a single bloom on a single plant, causing it to put energy into seed, may prevent it from blooming or producing multiple growths, in the next season. Take care, Eric
 

NYEric

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Major bump. I just got 4 Cyp. acaules from an eBay source. A couple of them snapped below the leaves [still green] but the rest of the plant looks healthy. They were in what appears to be a peat moss media. [I'd post photos but when I went to J&R's to look at a "Oh you just must get one." DSL [$450 + another $450 for the micro lens] my wallet burst into flames, so no photos for you! Anyway, I figure there are 5 choices of what I could do w/ the plants.
1. Try to make a home potting media and grow them for a while in my apartment.
2. Put them in the fridge to cool them down and plant them next year.
3. Pot them in the media and leave outside to finish the year and cool down.
4. Plant them under a pine tree in the mixed garden where they are potentially vunerable to the public and animals.
5. Plant them in the native landscape garden where no people can get to them but there's no pine needles and still animals could dig them up.
I don't have a pH meter to check the soil yet. Any advice?
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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Bill Steele told me that after years of trying, he finally hit on a potting media that was OK for acaule: 50% sand, 50% fine sphagnum. Try potting them up in that mix....or, if you have transportation, go to an area where acaule is native, like eastern Long Island, and dig up a few cups of soil. If I were out there now, I'd bring some soil (its really sand...with trace amounts of oak humus, with a pH of 3.9) from my LI place. The advantage of getting the soil is that the mycorrizae would already be there. Regardless, pot them up and leave them outdoors to age naturally, then put them in the fridge for the 4 month cold treatment. Take care, Eric
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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They need a cold dormant period for their survival. In ground, winter does the trick...put in pots in a home or greenhouse, the fridge has to do the job that winter would do.......Eric
 
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Kevin

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They need a cold dormant period for their survival. In ground, winter does the trick...put in pots in a home or greenhouse, the fridge has to do the job that winter would do.......Eric
I am very aware of the needed dormant period. I put my potted native/hardy plants outside for the winter. Is this mainly for Eric, since he is in an apartment? That obviously would not do.
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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Yes...in an apartment, all you have is the fridge. An outside deck is unreliable...NYC winters can be astoundingly mild...some years we only have real winter weather for a month or two...but they can also be really cold and tough...A plant subjected to freezing temperatures in the ground will do OK...but a plant in a pot that is on a deck, frozen and cold on all sides, would probably freeze to death, unless the pot is really large. Take care, Eric
 

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