Mary Chastain wrote:
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
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 ...
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