QBARS - v24n1 Taiwan Venture

Taiwan Venture
John Patrick, Richmond, California

This first report lists contributing members to The Taiwan Venture to date as follows: Mr. & Mrs. Maurice Sumner, San Francisco, California: Dr. William Avery, M.D., Tacoma. Washington, Mr. David Brandson, San Rafael, California; Dr. Paul J. Bowman, Fort Bragg, California: Mr. Hadley Osborn, El Cerrito. California; Dr. John Evans, M.D., Oakland, California; Mr. Ted Van Veen, Portland, Oregon: Mr. H. L. Larson, Tacoma, Washington; Tacoma Rhododendron Study Group, Tacoma, Washington; Dr. Ernest Yelton, M.D., Rutherfordton, North Carolina; Mr. Don Bivin, Moraga, California; Mr. Dan Mayers, Wadhurst, Sussex, England; Mr. Bob Comerford, Marion, Oregon; Mr. Eugene Skonieczny, Kensington, Connecticut; The Australian Rhododendron Society, Olinda, Victoria, Australia; Dr. David Dammery, M.D., East Malvern, Victoria, Australia; The Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts; Bodnant Gardens, Talycafn, Denbyshire, Wales; Wisley Gardens, Ripley, Woking, Surrey, England; John Patrick, Richmond, California; Mr. Basil Vaerlen, San Francisco, California.

To date; $400.00 has been sent to Taiwan, with the remaining $100.00 to be sent as soon as total contributions have been received here. Some members have contributed more than one share.

All funds are used in connection with traveling and study expenses along with air freight costs for sending material to California for growing, propagation and distribution.

The Director of The Taiwan Venture, Dr. Chien-Chang Hsu, Taxonomist and a member of the faculty of The National Taiwan University is a graduate of Tokyo University. Funds are sent to Dr. Hsu to be used at his discretion.

In addition to the above mentioned uses for funds, plant material while being collected for the benefits of The Taiwan Venture is also contributed to the Herbarium of The National Taiwan University along with certain quantities of live plant material for experimental purposes and growing on for further study. All facilities of The National Taiwan University are contributed to The Taiwan Venture free of charge, this in return for specimen material. In addition, Dr. Hsu is personally contributing a private garden for growing of plants.

Aside from acquisition of both plant material and seed, the aim of the Taiwan Venture is to thoroughly investigate and describe the Rhododendrons of Taiwan. Accurate localities will be supplied for all material and from time to time a progress report will be submitted. We expect this work to continue for some years and hope that all members will continue to assist in this work.

All seed obtained will be distributed as soon as possible. All plant material will be cleared through Plant Quarantine, San Francisco and propagated or grown on here until it can be shipped. Clearing, propagation etc., will be borne by the undersigned.


R. kawakamii : Normally white flowered, Dr. Hsu has located a yellow flowered population! Some plants were shipped and received here in very poor condition. They were placed in plastic bags under Gro-Lux lamps and some have recovered. As soon as they are ready to be shipped they will be distributed.

R. nankotaisanense : This rare species has been located by Dr. Hsu, just where E. H. Wilson said it was in 1918. How about that! Several plants are to be shipped initially.

R. pseudochrysanthum : From pollen sent to Dr. Hsu, he attempted some crosses this summer. If they are successful. seed will be distributed. He also attempted some wild selfing so we should have Selfed C.W. seed.

It would appear that the population at the summit of Mt. Morrison is an ecological dwarf. It is totally isolated from any other Rhododendron. I have plants that were shipped to me by a private source in Taiwan that are about 12" high at an estimated 35 yrs. old! (Estimate arrived at by allowing 1 mm diameter per year established through counting growth rings.)

It remains to be seen whether or not seed from this population will remain dwarf or attain the size of the Exbury form which is reportedly from seed collected by Wilson and sent through The Arnold Arboretum. This seed is said to be from the summit of Mt. Morrison. Wilson describes R. pseudochrysanthum as growing down to 6,000 feet.

R, hyperythrum : Dr. Hsu has located a population at quite low elevation near Taipei. Plant material will be sent soon. This Ponticum Series Rhododendron should prove quite useful for heat tolerant hybrids. There is some question here on the West Coast concerning the possibility of the plants in gardens here being from open pollinated seed as they do not conform to the description. We shall soon have material for comparison.

R. nakaharai : Dr. Hsu has discovered another locality for this delightful Azalea. If anyone is interested in plant material from this population we will try to propagate some.

I shall be going to Taiwan in early December on my annual two months business trip. I intend visiting as many populations as possible . ...always at my own expense.

If any of the members contributing are aware of others who wish to contribute a share, please have them contact me.