Peruflora Pk flask fiasco

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Greenthings

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On January 18 2005, ManoloArias of Peruflora offered people around the world and visitors to the WOC in Dijon France eight Pk species flasks, #751 to #758. They also offered two Pk hybrid flasks, :#759 Phrag czerwiakowianum x Pk, and # 760 Phrag wallisii x Pk

It was predicted in 2005 and proven to be correct in 2007 that some of the flasks numbered 751 through 758 would not contain Pk species, but something else. It was rumoured that illegal non-Pk seeds were sold as Pk seeds to Peruflora.

This month, February 2007, the prediction from two years ago was confirmed by Chuck Ackers and Jerry Fischer, who found Non-Pk seedlings on their benches that had come from Pk species flasks purchased from Peruflora in Lima, on a trip there in 2005. Manolo Arias manager of Peruflora, confirmed a mistake was made in a letter of apology to Chuck Acker.

I have been asked privately by a number of people to make comments on how did this Peruflora Pk flasks fiasco could have happened.

Here is how I see it:

1) Jerry Fischer, echoing Manolo Arias, claims that this was due to a mix up of labels in Peruflora's laboratory, which he says is one of the best labs he has seen in the world. I have pictures of Peruflora's Lab and note that it is a well organized laboratory, which makes a mix up of labels highly unlikely.

2) Many, if not most, believe the cause to be illegal non-Pk seeds purchased as Pk seeds in 2005.

Which of the two is is correct? Well, let's see,

1) If Jerry is correct

We should soon hear from others, who purchased Peruflora Pk hybrid flasks # 259 and/or # 260 made with Phrag zcerwiakowianum and Phrag wallisii.

Complaints should be heard that in some of these two Pk hybrid flasks pure
Pk seedlings were found. It must be so, for such is the consequence of mixing species and hybrid flask labels in a well organized laboratory.

If such complaints do come in, you must check that these were flasks purchased in 2005 when the oiginal flask list was still valid and no new
hybrids had been made by Peruflora. Flasks purchased at the WOC in Dijon
France would all qualify.
.
If no such complaints do come in, then label switching becomes extremely doubtful. For every Pk species flask with a Pk hybrid label, there must be a Pk hybrid flask with a Pk species label.

2) If illegal seed purchase and substitution is correct and the cause of Peruflora's Pk flask fiasco, you bet angry customers having paid up to $1,080 for a single Pk species flask will flower them out. If they find out that these plants could not possibly be the result of crosses # 259 or # 260, then illegal seed purchase is confirmed and the label mix up story is false.

Time will tell.
 
G

Greenthings

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Jerry Fischer claims Peruflora did not purchase illegal Pk seeds

Well maybe they were a gift???

Let us look at just one cross, Peruflora flask # 260, Phrag wallisii x Pk 'Goliath'

Manuel Arias collected his five legal Pk plants in June of 2003.

In Lima P. wallisii usually flowers in December and the seed pod takes nearly one year to mature. That means the earliest time that the seeds of a legal cross # 760 could have been collected was November 2004.

There is no way in hell, or heaven, that legal flask of cross # 760 would be ready for sale at the Dijon WOC in March of 2005.

Yet flask # 760 was offered for sale in Dijon by Manolo Arias in an e-mail dated Jan 18 2004, which I received and have on file.

The only conclusion that I can draw from this: pollen from an illegal Pk were used making in fact all early 2005 # 760 flasks illegal and the pollen parent claimed on the label a lie.
 
I

isaias m rolando

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Good point. Legal collection was May 2003 INRENA-CITES PERMITNº 2
It takes one year to stablish and flower with viable pollen, MAY 2004 . Then one more year to develop the seed pod. It WAS already MAY 2005. And Dijon was MARCH 2005....
What a magic and convenient timing of truly ilegal polen or ilegal seed pods...
"...CUANDO EL RIO HABLA ES PORQUE PIEDRAS TRAE..." Something like IF THE RIVER TALKS IS BECAUSE STONES ARE COMING....

Have a good week flowering your lovely phragmipediums.
 

NYEric

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Harsh reality

It doesn't matter. Illegal Pk plants will be distributed. :pity: Hopefully some plants will make it back into the wild in protected areas for future generations to enjoy.
 
G

Greenthings

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Harsh reality is that your first sentence makes the third one a joke
 
G

Greenthings

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I spotted a few typos in posts 1 and 2

259 should be 759
260 should be 760

Jan 18 2004 should be Jan 18 2005

Sorry
 
C

cdub

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I'm still wondering why all these Pk posts are in the 'Photographs' forum. If you're not gonna show me a pic of a plant, put the thread somewhere else.
 

kentuckiense

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Thread moved. Carry on!

Unfortunately, looks like we'll have to wait a few years to get to the bottom of it all.
 

slippertalker

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The bottom line is that the situation will not be known until some of the seedlings bloom. It does seem clear that true kovachii is slow to mature so the wait will be 3-4 years, perhaps. The hybrids with kovachii should be quicker and we should see the results within the next year or two.

The entire matter does seem pretty fishy for a well run laboratory.....Also, the flask seedlings originally were shipped barely larger than protocorms which led to a higher death rate. Buyer beware!
 

gonewild

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NYEric said:
Hopefully some plants will make it back into the wild in protected areas for future generations to enjoy.
Sad, but that will never happen in Peru unless you move down there and plant them on your own land. Then you will have to hire a guard to protect them. Then you will have to stay home to keep the guard from.........
 

gonewild

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slippertalker said:
The bottom line is that the situation will not be known until some of the seedlings bloom. It does seem clear that true kovachii is slow to mature so the wait will be 3-4 years, perhaps. The hybrids with kovachii should be quicker and we should see the results within the next year or two.
P. kovachii seems to have a distinct difference in the leaf shape from other Phrags.
It would be interesting to see photos of true kovachii seedlings, true kovachii hybrids and the mislabeled seedlings to compare.

Maybe Jason can post some comparative pictures?
 

Jason Fischer

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kovachii and reality

I know I said I wouldn't reply any more regarding these flasks but things are now getting out of hand with this kind of speculation.

Peter, The words defamation and Libel come to mind. The definition of Libel: " A false publication, as in writing, print, signs, or pictures, that damages a person's reputation."

The flasks 751 and 758 were tested as well and they are true.

Isais, The university of Minnesota used my seedling material to do their sequencing for us and it was only compared to the work done by Mark Whitten using Manriques plants.

The 'Jewel' x 'Roseline' kovachii sib cross did turn out to be wallisii x kovachii. We also sequenced that cross as well to be sure.

Now let's talk about breeeding phrags, bloom times and seed pod maturation for a moment. I have been to Peru a couple of times. I have seen wallisii in bloom in August in the Tres Cerritos area near Rioja not too far from Moyobamba. It may indeed bloom in December in Lima but has it ever occured to you Peter that at different elevations or climates it could bloom at another time? It also does not take 1 year to mature a seed pod of this species. I have selfed wallisii many times and have made hybrids with it as well. The longest it has ever taken for a seed pod to mature for me is 6 months. I have had some mature in 3 to 4 months as well depending on temperaures and the type of cross made. Also if one flask is mislabeled it doesn't necessarily mean that other flasks in reverse are mislabeled. I have an extensive lab here at Orchids Limited and every year we find a couple of mistakes we make. It is easy to do.

It is entirely possible to collect a kovachii carefully and who knows if it had a spike or not? It might have spiked later as well but the point is that given the time line it is within reason to develop a see pod and seedlings.. A plant of walisii in one of Manolos other nurseries could have spiked say in August and the pod could have been made, matured, sowed and flasks could have been ready by March of 2003. This is almost 2 years after all. That argument simply doesn't hold water.

Timelines can be interesting to speculate on but should we? I spoke with Glen Decker in January at the Paph. Guild in California and at that time he said he had 4 plants of St. Ouen x kovachii in bud already. Two weeks ago he told me he had 10 plants in bud and the first was beginning to crack open. I remember the pictures of flasks on his website of the first tiny seedlings he brought back in March of 06. Now I could speculate on how he could grow these to blooming size in less than a year at a nursery in Hawaii especially since my plants aren't anywhere near blooming size but should I ?

I think I am a pretty good grower. I have these hybrid and species seedlings in an area with bottom heat, artificial lighting, natural light and the right kind of fertilizer. I really baby them. They are just not that big yet even though I had kovachii and wallisii x kovachii in April of 05. The other hybrids I rceived in May of 06. I am not going to doubt Glen at all even though I might be tempted to. Why? because I simply do not know the particulars of what he is doing. Hawaii is like growing in the jungle and there are very similar dynamics going on with nutritional aspects as well like ammonia and carbonic acid being present in the atmosphere. I think it is wonderful that he has some hybrids in bud and I can't wait to see the pictures on his web site when they are posted. I will also purchase some plants of both Hybrids and the straight kovachii as I want as much genetic diversity as possible in my breeding program.

I believe these forums should limit themselves to the cultivation and appreciation of the plants we all grow. People are far more important than plants in my mind. We really should treat each other better than our own plants.

Sincerely, Jerry Lee Fischer
 
G

Greenthings

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NYEric on illegal Pk plant and seed collecting in Peru:
“It doesn't matter. Illegal Pk plants will be distributed. Hopefully some plants will make it back into the wild in protected areas for future generations to enjoy.”

I am astounded that you, an orchid grower, a hobbyist, respond in such an insensitive manner to an issue every human being should be deeply concerned about.

Picture, if you can, a magnificent cloud forest in the Northern Peruvian Andes, where an estimated 3000 plus Phramipedium kovachii are in bloom, sprinkling the lush greenery with vibrant colors of purple. This is their home; has been for milleniums, they are surrounded by thousands of seedlings, baby Phragmipedium kovachi destined to take over from their parents in a couple of years.

Then within a few years of the discovery of this magnificent plant in November of 2001, the habitat is destroyed by greed driven men; neither a seedling, nor a mature Pk plant survived the destructive forces. I have been there when it was still untouched by men. I have seen the pictures my friends took when everything was destroyed.

Where once in excess of 3000 Phragmipedium kovachii’s proudly bloomed and baby Pk’s were made, there are only holes in the wet substrate from which hands full severed roots peek out at you and seem to say, “why, ……….why you bloody idiots??“ Mounts of wet clay are everywhere, one to each hole, many less than one foot apart, showing the imprint of a shovel blade. A sure sign that the world’s most destructive animal was here.

Such a bloody shame, and you dare to say that illegal Pk collecting does not matter??
 
G

Greenthings

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Jerry,

Please read ST posts more carefully before you make comments
that are totaly off the mark.
 

SlipperFan

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Greenthings said:
Where once in excess of 3000 Phragmipedium kovachii’s proudly bloomed and baby Pk’s were made, there are only holes in the wet substrate ...
That is beyond terrible. It makes me sick.

One wonders, How many of these 3000 Phrags are still alive. And where are they.....?????
 

SlipperFan

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Yes, I remember reading that.

But if any of these 3000 plants are still alive, in whose hands are they? Who would dare have them in their possession? How did they get them out of Peru, if they are not in Peru anymore?

Maybe I'm naive, but it boggles my mind to think of anyone I know or know of having illegal Pk in their possession.
 

SlipperFan

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Jason Fischer said:
I believe these forums should limit themselves to the cultivation and appreciation of the plants we all grow. People are far more important than plants in my mind. We really should treat each other better than our own plants.
Jerry, I must disagree with you about what is appropriate on these forums. Anything that adds to my knowledge of the orchid world and what is going on it it is interesting to me, and appropriate material for discussion here.

I do agree that we should be nice to each other. But I don't see that seeking the truth of any situation, if done dispassionately and honestly, should be seen as a threat to anyone.
 
G

Greenthings

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Jerry, let me be nice and explain to you what it says in my post.

(Please don't give me this libel crap, I know what I say and I have lots of
proof to back up what I say, even about that which I chose to call rumours.)

It did not say flask #751 and #758. Read it again, it says
"some of the flasks numbered 751 through 758 would not contain Pk species, but something else. "

Flasks "751 through 758" was mentioned because those are the Pk species listed on Manolo's first 10 flasks list I received prior to the Dijon WOC.
#759 and #760 are Pk hybrids on that same list

You found at least one Pk species flasks in that group of 8 , # 754, containing a hybrid. You said it was due to a label mix up, I believe, or a label switching error.

Two questions Jerry I hope you have the answers to:

1) Are there in your opinion, or experience, other # 754 flasks from that same first batch yours came from, that indeed contain the true Pk species?

2) Which of the two hybrids # 759 and # 760 did you find in your flask # 754??

I hope you do reply, for I am not the only one interested in hearing your answers.
 

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