Seed for 1976 - Earlier is Better
Esther Berry, Seed Exchange Director
It goes without saying that the need for seed continues. Hand pollinated species are still in the greatest demand with second generation crosses of R. yakushimanum hybrid crosses running a very close second. Our most persistent shortages occur among the species and hybrids which offer the greatest promise of hardiness.
From the very beginning, the Seed Exchange has had a major problem for which we have found no solution. The problem is the fundamental incompatibility of late ripening seed and the real need for an early distribution date. This seems like a good year to try for a compromise between these two factors.
In past year our deadline for sending our seed list to the printer has been February 1. In our experience, this has been the earliest date possible. However, if all our contributors made an extra effort to get their seed in as soon as it becomes available and if the committee works thru the holiday season, we could probably move that deadline up to January 10. If we can manage that, we might be able to start the actual distribution by February 10. That is our goal and we will give it our best effort.
We solicit the support of our contributors. A word of caution; don't be over zealous in collecting seed capsules which may not be ripe. Make certain the capsules are mature by picking one or two and drying them for a few days to be sure that they will open. It is a very tedious and time consuming task to extract seed from capsules that are not sufficiently mature to open naturally. Also, the seed may not be viable. Never, never, crush the capsules in order to remove the seed, this produces chaff which cannot be removed.
Despite chronic shortages of seed and some minor distribution problems, the Seed Exchange has prospered. Research grants totaling $8,000.00 have been funded from the revenues of the Seed Exchange so the benefits are diverse and far reaching.
For the information of our newer members, we should mention that it is not necessary to apply for the seed list. It is routinely sent to all members.