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Thread: CPs at the US Botanic Garden!

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    SerMuncherIV's Avatar
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    CPs at the US Botanic Garden!

    For all of you who were expecting an amazing display of horticultural wonders, I sincerely apologize. A few years ago, I took a trip to DC and only saw a single terrarium housing some light-starved Sarracenia and Dionaea. I returned recently, full of optimism, eager to see to what was hopefully by now a larger and more impressive collection. I was disappointed. The only CPs I saw were two large specimens of Nepenthes and a sickly typical Dionaea on the welcome desk that I didn't even bother photographing. The Nepenthes, N. veitchii and N. graciliflora I believe, were shoved into a dark corner of the tropical greenhouse, and lacked any sort of identification. It seemed that the N. veitchii hadn't made any new pitchers in a while. There was a large room full of flourishing highland orchids like Masdevallia and Vanda, thoroughly labeled and happily flowering; has no one realized that many highland Nepenthes can be grown successfully there as well? Hopefully, their collection and cultivation of CPs will improve in the future; but for now, there's not much to see. I realize that many of their CPs might have not been on display that day, but still - for a government funded facility boasting one of the oldest and largest plant collections in North America, it was lacking.




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    That is rather disappointing, but at least they had CPs.

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    Par for the course apparently. The national aquarium in DC was a toilet that was thankfully flushed a couple years ago.
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
    Just know when to keep the verdict to yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SerMuncherIV View Post
    For all of you who were expecting an amazing display of horticultural wonders, I sincerely apologize. A few years ago, I took a trip to DC and only saw a single terrarium housing some light-starved Sarracenia and Dionaea. I returned recently, full of optimism, eager to see to what was hopefully by now a larger and more impressive collection. I was disappointed. The only CPs I saw were two large specimens of Nepenthes and a sickly typical Dionaea on the welcome desk that I didn't even bother photographing. The Nepenthes, N. veitchii and N. graciliflora I believe, were shoved into a dark corner of the tropical greenhouse, and lacked any sort of identification. It seemed that the N. veitchii hadn't made any new pitchers in a while. There was a large room full of flourishing highland orchids like Masdevallia and Vanda, thoroughly labeled and happily flowering; has no one realized that many highland Nepenthes can be grown successfully there as well? Hopefully, their collection and cultivation of CPs will improve in the future; but for now, there's not much to see. I realize that many of their CPs might have not been on display that day, but still - for a government funded facility boasting one of the oldest and largest plant collections in North America, it was lacking.



    That sucks.

    Good to know what my competition is in the field of public collections, though. Speaking from experience, it isn't difficult to turn a lackluster collection like that around in a short span of time. I overhauled ours virtually without funding, but something like the US Botanic Garden should have no excuse.

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    SerMuncherIV's Avatar
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    Update: I've got time to head back there again. I'll see if I can scrounge up anything worth posting about.
    Last edited by SerMuncherIV; 07-27-2015 at 03:57 AM.

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    Flip_Side_the_Pint's Avatar
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    those poor plants!

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    Subsurface Lurker gnathaniel's Avatar
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    Don't forget that USBG is directly under the purview of Congress/Capitol Grounds administration rather than an executive agency, so they have very little insulation from the circus passing for 'representative government' in the US these days...

    Seriously, though, I've been to USBG 4-5 times and always found it pretty spectacular, especially given the relatively tiny exhibit acreage they have onsite (there's a much larger offsite range) and the fact that they charge no admission fee. Most botanical gardens by necessity have distinct specialties and also 'blind spots,' and CPs unfortunately seem to be a common blind spot. From what I've seen USBG IS very good with orchids, bromeliads (I first learned of Brocchinia reducta there), cacti and other New World xerophytes, ferns, and probably a bunch of other groups I'm forgetting right now. I haven't yet visited every botanical garden in the US but I'd rank USBG well in the top tier of the dozen or so I have, bettered in my personal experience only by NYBG and ABG.

    I do agree that some huge, healthy Nepenthes would be awesome in the main conservatory space at USBG, though. Since the bulk of their collection is grown and stored away from the exhibition site, maybe they already have some suitable accessions they'd put on exhibit following a friendly request?
    --Nat--

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    Also don't forget that as beautiful and worthwhile as a botanical garden is, it's a difficult to justify spending money on one when you can't even pay the bills and the debt incurred from failure to pay them for the last 20 years.
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
    Just know when to keep the verdict to yourself.

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