An Update on the ARS Research Foundation
Dr. August E. Kehr, ARS President
This plant of 'Rose Elf' is probably the first
in the genus to be developed by meristem
tissue culture. This breakthrough was
accomplished by Dr. Wilbur Anderson,
Mount Vernon, Washington, through the
research supported in part by a grant from
the American Rhododendron Society
The endowment fund for the ARS Research Foundation is making an unexpectedly healthy growth. It presently amounts to $11,823.40. This growth is especially remarkable because it represents free-will gifts and pledges received at the annual meetings in Seattle and Philadelphia. We are fully confident that when the entire ARS membership is given an opportunity to participate in the fund
drive, the response will be overwhelming. Before the annual meeting in May, each member will receive a brochure and an invitation to join in the fund drive. Our goal is $ 100,000 by 1980.
Already our Society is beginning to benefit from its research program. For the first time, rhododendrons have been propagated by tissue culture methods. When perfected, this method of rapid propagation will benefit each member. We predict that within the next decade even the most difficult to propagate species or hybrid will be increased by the thousands, in the same manner that today one single rare orchid plant can be multiplied into several hundred thousand plants within one year.
Twelve researchers in eight universities are busy working to solve rhododendron problems. Their findings will appear from time to time in the Bulletin. Another project on effects of mycorrhizae on the growth and health of rhododendrons has just been initiated by the research committee. We are anxious to start work on some of the other highly urgent problems such as effective controls for root weevils and azalea petal blight. Remember that contributions to the Research Foundation are tax exempt. Your contributions will also remain in a permanent endowment fund, the earnings of which will support research indefinitely. We anticipate the endowment fund will grow in the same manner as our rhododendrons do.