AGS Seed Exchange: Incorrect alstroemeria seed 2007/08 Seed List 56
Started by: Diane WhiteheadGo to latest contribution by Steve Law, 31 July 2011, 09:38. Go to bottom of this page.
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Garden collected seed of Alstroemeria achirae, a recently-described species, was offered in the 2007/2008 seedlist.
It has not been offered since, but there might be a flood of donated seeds soon as plants grown from this mislabelled seedlot come into flower.
Here is a picture of mine.. The plants are 60 cm high, most probably the common A. aurea which is an enthusiastic spreader. Mine are going on the compost as soon as I post this message.
Thanks, Diane for bringing this to our attention. I've looked up the donation and I shall be vigilant for any redonations bearing this name and check the provenance. I am sure this was a genuine error and probably due to growing the vigorous A aurea next to the rarer and more difficult A achirae, so the A aurea has seeded into the pot of A achirae which has then died and when the seed is ripe the owner donates the seed in good faith under the original name. If you are not sure that a seed is correct, it's best to try and get it identified before sending in the seed. One way to do this is to post a picture on these pages to be identified.
Diane Clement, Acting Seed Manager, AGS Seed Exchange
"I am sure this was a genuine error and probably due to growing the vigorous A aurea next to the rarer and more difficult A achirae, so the A aurea has seeded into the pot of A achirae which has then died and when the seed is ripe the owner donates the seed in good faith under the original name."
Diane - it seems quite a common complaint that seed is wrongly named, though personally I have not found this a real problem; people are bound to make and perpetuate mistakes at times, especially when newer gardeners (though there might be a few very annoying deliberate 'mistakes'). However, it can be got round quite simply by doing as the NARGS exchange does, that is putting numbers next to donated seed which refer to the donors. This way mistakes can be ironed out, but even more useful contacts can be made between different members with similar interests.
It may add another complication to organising the exchange, but once instituted would be quite straightforward. By the way I am full of admiration for the Seed Exchange and all the members who carry it out; it is one of the very best parts of the Society!
Tim - for the most part I would absolutely agree with you. It is an excellent resource and receiving my package of AGS seed is an annual treat up there with Christmas morning.
I'm not sure I really believe though that a lot of these 'mistakes' are genuine. I just don't find the Alstroemeria 'explanation' above very plausible (and see my similar gripes re Penstemon and Clematis elsewhere on this forum). Anyhow - your idea of publishing the donors' id beside the variety is an excellent suggestion and i hope the powers that be will adopt it.
I also agree that a number to identify individual donors would be a great idea as it would weed out the deliberate perpetrators and help the naive ones, as over the years we have had various wrongly named seed.
I just did a quick google search of A.achirae to see if i could find a picture (I couldn't) but found this discussion [http://www.srgc.org.uk/smf/index.php?topic=7605.0]on the SRGC website.
Are we perhaps a little too afraid of causing offence down here south of the border?