AGS Seed Exchange: Are all plants in the seed exchange alpines?
Started by: Helen JohnstoneGo to latest contribution by ian mcdonald, 05 December 2013, 19:58. Go to bottom of this page.
I was wondering whether the seeds donated to the AGS seed exchange were checked to ensure they were in fact classed as alpines.
I only ask as if this is so I know I can enter plants grown from the AGS seed scheme into AGS shows and they won't be disqualified.
The plants that have made me ask this question is pelargonium worcesterae which I am struggling to find out more about but wondered if I could enter into the pelargonium class in future shows.
Helen, it is not the intention of the AGS seed exchange to just offer seed of alpines. Unlike some seed exchanges, we do not refuse any seed that is offered, as members live in many different climatic regions. Of course, the main interest for many members, is the seeds of alpines as these are rarely available elsewhere. So the seed list is definitely not a guide of what to show!
Regarding what you can show, you must consult the Botanical lists at the beginning of the shows handbook for advice on families and genera. The shows handbook states ‚??Alpine or rock garden plant‚??: The term covers all plants, including shrubs, suitable for cultivation in a rock garden of moderate size or in an unheated frame or alpine house. It excludes any plants which will not survive an average British winter under such conditions but includes many plants which do not necessarily grow in mountainous regions. The term excludes 'over-selected' forms of plants, such as Show Auriculas or Florists' Cyclamen. ‚??Distinct‚??: The word ‚??distinct‚?? means ‚??distinct varieties‚??. Obvious colour variants or sufficiently different forms are distinct varieties for this purpose."
So in a nutshell, plants should be small and hardy and suitable for a rock garden or container. These points are debatable and if you are not sure about a plant, the best thing is to bring it along to a show or local meeting and ask the advice of someone more experienced.
Thank you Diane this was what I thought. I was perplexed at the AGS Tewkesbury show to see a class for pelargonium which to me aren't hardy at all so I suppose I was wondering if there were some that were
Helen, some Pelargoniums are more hardy than others. Some of the species can survive a cold winter if they are kept dry under cover. The hardiest species is the Turkish Pelargonium endlicherianum which can be grown outdoors in a well drained rockery or crevice garden, or indoors in an unheated alpine house, treated like a Mediterranean bulb - moist in spring and autumn, with a warm dry summer and dry winter rest. Some of the South African species pelargoniums have similar needs and can be grown under unheated glass as they need a dry winter.
As a fan of our own native plants I try to obtain seed of native plants from the seed exchange. I experiment with the more uncommon species to determine what their germination requirements are. I would like to see more seed of native plants being offered, even if this means the seeds are from other countries. Please remember that it is not always a good idea to collect seed in the UK, especially of rare species. Also check if collecting seed in other countries is allowed. When collecting seed, only take a very small sample in order to maintain native populations. Please do not introduce non-native plants into the wild.