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Re: Disgusted

Mary Chastain wrote:
RE:>>I agree that something needs to be done about the registration process. I
would like to put forth the idea that anyone registering a plant should at
least be exposed to some type of training.  How about some classes in what
to look for and goals that need to be met? Mary
An EXCELLENT recommendation!  (Of  course it was... what did I expect from Mary Chastain?)  I personally DO NOT believe the problem is that there are too many.  There have got to be at least 1,000 unique Hostas on the market, if not 2,000.  The number of registered varieties really doesn't matter.  What matters is, "are they distinct enough that the "trained" eye can recognize the difference".   I hope there WILL someday be 10,000 registered varieties of Hosta, with about five hundred of them having red leaves with white centers, blue flowers, be nematode, slug and virus resistant (totally immune), and be able to take some hot sun without scalding (while I'm wishing and hoping, might as well dream big!).

Personally, I don't think we've scratched the scratch on what can be done with this plant (observe Ran Lydell's work with blooms in Hosta.  I'm sure Ran alone could register a covey of new varieties in the next year or two (if HE felt they were worthy of registration), based on the uniqueness of the flower alone)  There are so MANY excellent hybridizers at work to develop new plants... but who gets to weed through the chaff to get to the wheat?  The registrar's registration criteria should do that for us, and the registrar him/herself.

It is probably time to add some increased selectively to the criterion for registration acceptance.  Training would be a good start, as would an increase in rigidity in criteria.   Hall of Fame lists are helpful, yes, but whom do they primarily serve?  Usually, it's to help the marketers know that at least some panel somewhere liked these plants at some moment in time.  Would H. 'Suzuki Thumbnail' be on that list?  How about H. gracillima, or H. Shere Khan (And the one I've seen is MUCH different than the single photo at the library).  Or any number of lesser known plants.  And, if they are not on the list, does that imply they are not good plants?  Maybe so but would that be a good thing?  

I don't believe lists can do much except help the commercial people figure out what is a good bet for mass propagation.  If you are building a collection, the lists quickly become of little use.   How many commercial growers see people walking around with their top 20 list?  (I don't really know--it's a question).  I sure don't.  I doubt if Moonlight Sonata has made it to that list yet, or Lakeside Shoremaster, or Kinba, or about 500 more that we could all add right now.  And, if you collect based on hybridizer, you may not care if the plant is exceptional--you just want them because they are from that particular hybridizer.

Increased restrictiveness on the registration process is a good idea.  Maybe Mary and a few others could develop a recommendation that would help in this endeavor and present it to the board.   Add a "3-winter dormancy periods" minumum clump age for me!  Fortunately, most of this sorting out mechanism seems to be in place, thanks to the diligent work of the AHS board.  Just a little fine tuning is all that is required.  Uniform clump age, a listing of "similar to's", a case that is built by the applicant for why this plant is unique (other than that they've found a unique name); nothing too tough but it should be good for the industry.

And, if there is a class to be offered at First Look or in Raleigh, could it be video taped, maybe even offered for sale by the AHS?  I think the AHS could make some money doing this as well as to improve the future for the genus.   It would be an important work.

Finally, if this does get done, please make sure Mary Chastain gets a segment... I think most of us would agree that would be appropriate.   How you would pick who would be on the tape?  Now that is a selection criteria that would be real hard to establish, but it could be done via a nominating committee, maybe followed by a vote of AHS members.  Publish it to the Journal, we vote and then we can get a tape out of the effort that many of us would love to see.    Not a huge budget item.  Maybe Jim Schwarz and his camera... and a nominal fee... bingo... a training tape.

Andrew C. Lietzow, Hacker - The ACL Group, Inc.   
..Also #1 Plantsman at http://hostahaven.com ...
...1250-41st St Des Moines, IA 50311-2516 ......
....515-274-0300 V/F 515-238-6558 Cell .........

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