John Patrick, Richmond, California
The "Taiwan Venture" has grown out of an article contributed by the author in ARS Bulletin for April 1969. This venture is the natural outgrowth of an attempt to sort out the Taiwan rhododendron species. References to the Taiwan Rhododendron species are few and at times, somewhat confusing. The first collecting was done by Wilson. Later work was done by Kanehira and later by Li.
The "Taiwan Venture" has been formed to define the Taiwan rhododendron species in detail and to continue this work indefinitely. Copies of Wilson's work will be followed as closely as possible as a starting point, bearing in mind the fact that his trip to Taiwan was short even though he covered an amazing amount of territory considering the almost unbelievable transportation difficulties.
The "Taiwan Venture" was formed in March 1969. The basis for shares is on an estimate that initial costs will take some five hundred dollars this year to begin investigations. Most of the money will be used for travel expenses to visit and revisit as many populations as possible to investigate the 20 odd incompletely delineated species. This work is to be expanded as necessity indicates. The aims of the "Taiwan Venture" are as follows:
- Investigate and properly define all Rhododendron Species in Taiwan as far as is practicable.
- Collect seed and plant material for introduction throughout the world.
- Collect seed plant material and live plants for taxonomical study and propagation at Taiwan National University. Interspecific crosses will be made to further define the species.
- To self wild plants and make hybrid crosses among the wild populations for controlled propagation of the resulting seed where practicable.
Dr. Chien-Chang, PhD, of Taiwan National University will be in charge of all work attempted. Arrangements in agreement with the aforementioned aims were made by the author on a personally financed expedition to meet Dr. Hsu in December 1968. Funds are already in the hands of Dr. Hsu to start this work and several trips have already been made. Prior to the discussion proceeding the forming of the "Taiwan Venture", Dr. Hsu had already made seed available to the author. Some of this seed was sent to the ARS Seed Exchange for distribution and was described in more detail by the author in the April 1969 ARS Bulletin.
Forthcoming articles concerning the "Taiwan Venture" will be submitted by Dr. Hsu and the author, with full credit for any scientific data going to Dr. Hsu and liaison with the "Taiwan Venture" to be attempted by the author. Interested groups or individuals may obtain further information concerning participation in the "Taiwan Venture" by addressing the author.