JARS v51n1 - American Rhododendron Society Pollen Bank

American Rhododendron Society Pollen Bank
Ron R. Rabideau
Chairman, Pollen Bank
Barre, Massachusetts

The ARS Pollen Bank is a service for members of the Society to obtain pollen for their hybridizing ventures. Rhododendron pollen is very durable when properly handled and thus can be stored for years and mailed anywhere in the world. You might ask, "Why not just buy the plant? You would get all the pollen you wanted, wouldn't you?" Here are some of the many reasons for saving and exchanging pollen:

You can receive...
1.  Pollen from plants not hardy in your area
2.  Pollen from cutting-edge hybrids not commercially available yet
3.  Pollen from rare old hybrids
4.  Pollen from rare or difficult to grow species, or forms of species
5.  Pollen from plants you don't have room for or desire to grow yourself
6.  Pollen from varieties you may have but yours haven't budded yet
7.  Pollen from late blooming plants for use on next year's early bloomers
8.  Pollen from early bloomers for use on late bloomers
9.  Pollen from a faraway place or rhododendron authority that will give you sentimental feelings towards your seedlings.
You can give...
10.  Pollen from your own hybrids that you're especially proud of
11.  Pollen so that others may benefit from your generosity
12.  Pollen to facilitate getting others to be addicted to hybridizing
13.  Pollen you don't want to go to waste
14.  Pollen so we have a great Pollen Bank
15.  Pollen to keep yourself busy in retirement
16.  Pollen so as a contributor you get first choice of available pollen.

Please consider contributing pollen to the Pollen Bank. There will be a major change this year in that the pollen list will be published in the Seed Exchange Catalog. This should give the Pollen Bank much better publicity. Donations must be received therefore before the Seed Catalog is published to be included. Pollen will be distributed in late winter to the end of May. Pollen and orders received after that will be held for the next year. Contributors get first choice on a first-come, first-served basis. Complete instructions for collecting and sending pollen are in the Summer'95 issue of the Journal. Jim Barlup also has good instructions in his "Hybridizing Notes" in the Summer '96 issue. "Make sure you send pollen in crush-proof containers!

Please include with your order a list of what pollen you are contributing with your name on it. This greatly facilitates my work. It is also very important if you are sending pollen from your own hybrids that you describe them thoroughly - things like hardiness, compactness, foliage, good color description, number of flowers/truss, whatever you think is special about your plant. People will not likely order something they know nothing about - even if you give the cross. We all know seedlings from the same cross can be very different. I will still be collecting and distributing the pollen. Do not send it to the Seed Exchange chairman. Send it to me: Ronald R. Rabideau. Label it POLLEN. You must be a member of the ARS to obtain pollen.