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Re: Piedmont Gold sports (was Registration)

Believe it or not, I agree with Bill.  I personally wouldn't offer it. I never said that I thought that these duplicate sports should be introduced, only that I don't think it is a big enough problem to worry about. If you disagree and decide to offer it, I don't see that it makes much difference.  It happens, it has always happened, and it will continue to happen and the hosta world survives. But I think that Bill may be exagerating the problem a bit to make a point.  Anyone who ordered 25 plants and found 10 of them to be the same as ten others would have to be an idiot.  If you know of such a person, please send me a name and address so I can get a catalog right out.


Bill Meyer wrote:

Hi Robin,     What I said was that I've heard that from people. Recently I was at a friend's retail nursery and this guy didn't know too much about hosta, especially the newer ones. He asked me if I'd help him decide what to order from the wholesalers. He would get to 'Fire and Ice', say, and ask if that sounded good. I would tell him that he already had 'Loyalist' and that it was the same plant. He scratched his head. When this happened for the third time, he asked why they are selling the same plant with so many different names. I told him I didn't know. So, I put that question to you and Chick. You could buy some 'Satisfaction' in wholesale, or you could have your admittedly similar plant TCed for about the same price. Which do you choose and why? Both you and Chick know that some people will buy it thinking it must be different somehow or you wouldn't have given it it's own name. Some will do so because of your good reputations, believing that you wouldn't try to fool them with a lookalike.      Then there's the issue of price. If 'Satisfaction' is retailing for an average $20, would you introduce yours at $50? $40? Or $15? Would the catalog description say that the new plant is probably identical to 'Satisfaction'? Or would it say that it's a spectacular gold-margined wonder that will be eveything a collector could want and not mention the parentage? I've seen the latter, not from either you or Chick, or I wouldn't be discussing it with you. I will say that it is unethical to sell the same plant under a different name without making it clear to the buyer that that's what you're offering. Remember the furor a few years ago when a Dutch nursery put a different name on 'Halcyon' and offered it at a higher price?      I've heard much of this from people less knowledgable about the current market. They are out there and they're not happy about buying 25 different new hosta and finding out that they really only bought 15. OK they didn't do their homework. They are offended and they feel they've been fooled. As retailers, you probably think about how many new ones you'd like to offer next year vs. how many older ones. Why would you decide to offer a lookalike if, as Chick says, there are plenty of really good new plants easily available?      If your 'August Moon' sports to a green center, your sieboldiana 'Elegans' a gold edge, and your 'Hyacinthina' a white edge, and these plants look, even to your own eye, very similar to 'Abiqua Moonbeam', 'Frances Williams', and 'Francee', would you name and sell them too? There has to be a point where you leave it in the garden and sell something else.                                                                                                        .............Bill Meyer
 Chick and Bill, I've been following your discussion with sharp interest.  You
see, I've been keeping an eye on a green center/gold edged 'Piedmont Gold'
sport since '92.

Is it similar to 'Satisfaction' and 'Tyler's Treasure'?  Yep.  But is it
identical?  Beats me.  And it's totally impractical to purchase each to grow
side by side for another 8-10 years to find out.

From what Bill is saying, if I name, register and market it, I'm simply
trying to pull the wool over the public's eye by trying to convince them this
is something "new"...a thought that could easily be found offensive.  (Bill,
I'm not picking on you or your thoughts, I just don't know how you can second
guess the intentions behind my actions)  Are you suggesting I toss the plant
onto the compost pile?  Sorry, I don't see that happening.  Or are you
suggesting I name it 'Satisfaction' or 'Tyler's Treasure' without being
absolutely certain it's identical?  To do that would be rather unethical and
has the potential of only adding more confusion down the road.  But if so,
which would I name it?   Perhaps I could name a third of them 'Satisfaction',
another third 'Tyler's Treasure', and the last third 'Tyler's Satisfaction'.
Naa, there would be no treasure to find satisfaction with in that option

Instead, I think I'll come up with my own name, register it, and yes, then
maybe even market it...and hope no one thinks I'm trying to pull a fast one.


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