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Re: Seed auction on E-Bay

earthspirit wrote:

It's also been displayed at First Look and other places, but the only division that was ever taken was sent to Shady Oaks to tc for me. And no, he couldn't have got it there. *****Could he have stolen pollen? Jean Bawden, Madison, Wi

Well, I guess so, since I acknowledged anything is possible. And naturally, like you, I want to believe the best about everyone. I guess he could have hypnotized me and I willingly gave him a piece of the plant too, but I don't remember it.

Come on folks, lets get real. The guy doesn't have the seeds he claims to have. Do you really think he could have gotten his hands on plants from three or four different hybridizers in different parts of the country without their knowing it? It's a good racket, because if someone hadn't noticed his listings, the people who buy the seeds would never know that they got something else, and probably still won't. I could sell you seeds labeled anything and when they germinated do you really think you could tell they were from something else? Especially when you have no idea what the pollen parent was? (I think it's generally accepted that if you talk about seeds from 'Mustang Sally', people would expect Sally to be the pod parent. If not, you would be able to specify both parents.)

Since this open has been totally boring lately, maybe I can start some more trouble. It's just my opinion, but personally, I don't see the point of germinating other people's seeds when it is so much more fun to make your own crosses. I'm not saying you can't get something good from bought seeds, and I even have to admit that many years ago I bought some myself, but I think the odds are slim. I just don't think you can get enough seeds this way to put the odds in your favor. I suspect that the vast majority of these seeds come from open pollinated plants, which makes the odds even poorer. My guess is that I throw away a thousand seedlings for every one I keep. I have germinated thousands of seeds from 'Uncle Albert' over 6 years, from crosses made by hand with some of my best plants, and have selected fewer than 10 keepers. From these, I have germinated many thousands of seeds from crosses with other great plants, and so far, I haven't found a single one that impresses me yet. Hopefully this isn't because I'm a lousy hybridizer. It's just not that easy to produce a worthy hosta. Obviously, you can theoretically get something spectacular from a single seed, or from a pod or two, but the odds are poor, especially from open pollinated seed. Streakers may be an exception, and if you use really good quality parents you probably get a lot more interesting seedlings. By the way, germinating a thousand seeds is not all that hard and doesn't take much space if you don't try to grow every seedling to maturity.

I have seen seeds of common ordinary variegated plants like 'Frances Williams', "Francee', and others offered on ebay, and I assume that the bidders think they are going to get variegated seedlings. Admittedly the sellers state that you can't count on getting variegated seedlings, but I have yet to see one tell the whole truth, that the chances are awfully close to zero.

I know that some will say they are not concerned about getting a world class seedling, they just want to learn, but I don't see what you learn from growing other peoples seed. If you can germinate a tomato seed, you can grow hosta seedlings. If you want to learn about growing from seed, just go outside and snap a pod off a plant of Sagae and you're on your way. Even better if you know who the daddy was.


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