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 Next time the Native Plants Tendency starts an argument... 
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 4:06 pm
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Location: Islington, London UK
Post Next time the Native Plants Tendency starts an argument...
You can read them this bit from an article in the January issue of The Garden:

Quote:
A two-year study has revealed a surprising variation in how useful different garden plants are to bees and other pollinating insects. Researchers at the University of Sussex have been looking at the role flowering plants can play in helping to reverse declines in insect populations. ...

The results were striking ... there was found to be a one-hundred-fold variation in attraction to pollinators. ...

Whether plants were native, a hybrid or a cultivar did not seem to affect its [sic] attractiveness to insects - openness of its flowers was far more important. ...


All of which is very consistent with my own anecdotal experience over the past 25 years.

The hypothetical Native Plants Tendency adherent would inevitably reply with a reference to one obscure species of insect that depends upon one equally obscure species of native plant, thus missing the point entirely. But we can apparently rely upon what we see, which is that, if we grow a lot of different stuff from all over the world, the wildlife will figure out a way to make use of it.

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Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:48 am
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Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:42 pm
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Location: Cornwall
Post Re: Next time the Native Plants Tendency starts an argument.
unhappily that seems to be that they eat it!

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Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:56 am
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Location: North Thames delta UK
Post Re: Next time the Native Plants Tendency starts an argument.
I think it has been a long long time since gardeners have been growing just native plants, so it is all a bit of a non-argument anyway. I blame the Romans...

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Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:24 am
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:02 pm
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Location: Germany USDA 8b
Post Re: Next time the Native Plants Tendency starts an argument.
At the risk of sounding like a smart *rse, but yes, that's what we all can confirm. Other studies even prove, that gardens have a much higher bio-diversity than the open rural countryside (which most often consists of agricultural mono- or oligocultures), thanks to the great variation of plants from all over the world we grow just for fun.

That animals are able to adapt to the supply is a simple truth local greens have been ignoring for decades. I've been told by someone, that my large Rhododendron groups are completely useless for the ecosystem. Obviously someone, who never saw a flowering specimen buzzing with hundreds of bumblebees and I may remind to those pesky cicadas, that live way to well on expense of them!

Plants have been introduced to us since stone age, so why should it be harmful just by now!?

The german greens, who have turned partly into a highly intolerant bunch with quasi totalitarian tendencies, (they tried to introduce a mandatory " Veggie Day" for everbody, amongst other funny ideas at the last elections and got punished by the voters with the biggest defeat in history) still keep saying, that anything non-native is bad.

I wonder, what "philiosophical construct", (reads "excuse") they used back then in the early 80ies, when their late hippie founding fathers consumed a lot of non-native Cannabis sativa "by"-products, that surely never had anything to do with the production of ropes and such?

May them greens be more tolerant in other countries, the world would need it!


Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:14 am
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Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:52 am
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Location: bandon, oregon usa USDA climate zone 9a
Post Re: Next time the Native Plants Tendency starts an argument.
just guessing but aren't most of the "traditional" food crops in Germany (and many other parts of the world) NOT native/endemic to that particular area from orchard apples to wine grapes to wheat and not to mention ("indian") corn, potatoes, tomatoes, (and of course the herb superb cannabis sativa, LOL) etc.----most all being either complex hybrids that MAY have some native species DNA mixed in to outright exotic imports from completely different parts of the world or both. in the name of environmental purity, will they then forego these things and thus likely starve or accept that the agricultural/horticultural/gardening world as it is has at least some redeeming qualities of both practical and aesthetic use---especially when they sit down to eat after cultivating their rose garden???

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Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:05 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:01 pm
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Post Re: Next time the Native Plants Tendency starts an argument.
Here is an article on the subject from Stephen Jay Gould:
http://arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu/p ... es/483.pdf


Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:21 am
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:55 pm
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Location: Leidschendam, The Netherlands. (52 N latitude)
Post Re: Next time the Native Plants Tendency starts an argument.
Before the iceages Europe had a much richer flora with Rhododendrons, Magnolia, Liquidambar, Liriodendron and Sabal. All now considered non native species. Well those now planted are from other parts of the World but most people do not know that they had European counterparts. And about exotic plants versus wildlive, Budleia davidii from China is a good example of a non native species wich is benficiel for wildlive, in this case butterflies. Asters from America are another example.
Well people should grow what they like. I have lots of exotic plants here but also native ones like Primula elatior, P. vulgaris and Dactylhoriza praetermissa.

But know one should tell me that I should grow only plants from this part of the World!

Alexander

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Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:25 am
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Post Re: Next time the Native Plants Tendency starts an argument.
David Matzdorf wrote:
All of which is very consistent with my own anecdotal experience over the past 25 years.

The hypothetical Native Plants Tendency adherent would inevitably reply with a reference to one obscure species of insect that depends upon one equally obscure species of native plant, thus missing the point entirely. But we can apparently rely upon what we see, which is that, if we grow a lot of different stuff from all over the world, the wildlife will figure out a way to make use of it.

Thanks for sharing! The subject was recently discussed/debated over on the XericWorld forum...

Bay Area Xeric Guerrilla Gardeners

...and over on the OrchidBoard...

a horribly ambitious and terribly long project

davidmdzn7 wrote:
Here is an article on the subject from Stephen Jay Gould:
http://arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu/p ... es/483.pdf

Excellent paper!

I've said quite a bit on the topic...but I don't feel like I've really figured out how to adequately convey my position. It seems just out of reach. Maybe it will help if I brainstorm some more!

Neofinetia falcata is an epiphytic monopodial orchid from Japan, Korea and China. As some of you might remember...Tom Velardi shared a video of it blooming on his tree in Japan. Super super cool!

Unfortunately, too many of you do not have the option of growing Neofinetia falcata on your trees. It's cold tolerant...but it's not cold tolerant enough.

Shouldn't all of you have the option to grow Neofinetia falcata on your trees? Yes...very yes.

In order for this to happen sooner rather than later...we need to borrow the orchid family's key to success. Around 10% of all plants are orchids because they play the numbers game. Each seed pod can contain a million dust like seeds. No two seeds are exactly alike...they are all unique. They are all different. Each seed represents a different strategy. When you throw a million different strategies at nature...then you clearly increase your chances of finding successful strategies.

The thing is...what percentage of Neofinetia falcata's seeds actually end up on trees? It seems pretty straightforward that most seeds end up on the ground. The ground is a bigger target than trees are. If you close your eyes and throw a rock in a forest...chances are that you'll hit the ground rather than a tree. Therefore, many better strategies end up being wasted. And...clearly some locations are more desirable than other locations.

So let's pretend that flying pixies harvested Neofinetia falcata's seed pods and transferred the seeds to tiny bags. Then the pixies would zip around and sprinkle the dust like seeds on the best locations on the best trees.

Neofinetia falcata would end up in Northern Japan in a fraction of the time that it would have normally taken.

I wish I could watch a video of the pixies flying around sowing the orchid seeds. That would be the best anime.

While it's true that every single seed produced by Neofinetia falcata is different...just how different are they? If the apple doesn't fall very far from the tree...then well...the seed isn't going to germinate very far from the tree. If there's relatively little variation among Neofinetia's seeds...then progress is going to be relatively slow.

Fortunately, Neofinetia falcata can be crossed with many other genera of monopodial orchids. For example, you can cross Neofinetia with Angraecums. Maybe you can cross Neofinetia with any other monopodial species of orchid. Neofinetia falcata can have access to a very large pool filled with many different strategies.

Pollinator requirements aside...what are the chances that Neofinetia is the best suited monopodial orchid for Japan? If you've read the paper that davidmdzn7 shared, you'd know that the distribution of plants by no means represents the optimal distribution. Just because a plant grows in one location in your garden doesn't mean that there aren't better locations in your garden for that plant. Just because Neofinetia grows in parts of Japan, Korea and China doesn't mean that there aren't better locations for this orchid.

So I think we should cross Neofinetia falcata with as many other orchids as possible...and sow the seeds on as many different trees as possible. Playing the numbers game will minimize the amount of time it takes before all of you have the option to grow orchids on your trees.

Regarding pollinators...even if crossing Neofinetia falcata with Cyrtorchis praetermissa produces an orchid that can grow in colder parts of Japan than either parent...there's no guarantee that a pollinator will immediately pollinate the cross. This bottleneck will certainly limit its ability to naturalize.

I think this means that we really should widely distribute not only epiphytic orchids but their pollinators as well. For example, we should try and naturalize Neofinetia falcata and its pollinator in Northern Argentina. In exchange we should try and naturalize Miltonia flavescens and its pollinator in Southern Japan.

Here in the Americas we have orchid bees and hummingbirds. Should we share our pollinators with the rest of the world? I think so. But it's not like I'm going to ship my hummingbirds to Tom in Japan. Wouldn't he be surprised though if I did. He'd open the box and a dozen hummingbirds would shoot out into his house. hah. That would be a funny video.

Well...unfortunately I don't feel like I've really hit the nail on the head. I see the concept...and feel it...and I'm way too frequently reminded not to keep all my eggs in one basket. But conveying it continues to be a challenge.

If anybody would like to argue against my poorly presented position...please first read up on facilitation cascades.

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Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:12 pm
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