A "Rhododendron Bank" For Rock Seedlings
By Dr. Carl G. Heller
Acquiring a complete collection of the rhododendron species from the Rock Expedition of 1948 is the present plan of the American Rhododendron Society. Each of the species grown under each of the numbers designated by Dr. Rock would be preserved and grown in the Rhododendron Test Garden in Portland.
Although an abundance of seed was originally supplied by Dr. Rock, through one vicissitude or another, relatively. few of these rare plants are being grown.
The Society not only desires to preserve one complete set of the collection for display and future propagation but desires to identify the specimens grown under each number in a definitive manner. This will be possible for many specimens only when they come into bloom. The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh has already made tentative identification of the majority and definitive identification of a minority of the plants from the herbarium specimens submitted by Dr. Rock.
In making a brief survey of the fate of these seedlings it was found that some members have successfully raised a large number of seedlings of one number and other members of other numbers. A desire for trading specimens has been expressed by these members. The suggestion is therefore being made that the Society establish a trading center or "Rhododendron Bank" of the Rock seedlings at the Park. Contributions of as many plants grown under any Rock number or of any variety will be accepted. The society will reserve the right to select one plant of each number for the Park collection as its "fee for service." The contributor would then have the privilege of selecting a number of plants from the donations of others in an amount equal to his contribution. Scarcity and quality of the plants would determine the number traded for.
It is appreciated that many Rock specimens are being grown without appropriate labeling or further identification. These will be accepted for trading in a separate "unknown no." category.
Please bring your contributions and trading plants to the Park on May 1, 2 and 3. Someone will be there to establish your "credit" with the "Rhododendron Bank."
If this plan works for the Rock seedlings it could be extended, later, to include species from other sources.