Miracid, a virus, and a new list

Barry Meyers-Rice (barry@mips3.as.arizona.edu)
Tue, 30 Aug 1994 17:39:53 +0700

Hey souls.

1)Miracid woes I hear? I never use it as a soil drench, only as a foliar
spray on tuberous _Drosera_ and Pings.

2)I got a note from a Canadian colleague who wrote, ``...tells me that the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service got wind of the CP discussion group on
Internet and started asking people to justify their collections and show
proper permits etc. Is this true....?''

As far as I know, this is not true. Has anyone gotten USFWS queries? I have
a feeling this is just a rumour started from fears I expressed earlier
about alleged new regulations regarding _Sarracenia_ horticulture.

3)The same Canadian also noted something that REALLY bothers me. I had
told him my concerns that the double-flowered mutation seen in some
_Sarracenia_, most notably _S.leucophylla_ `Tarnok', might be a viral problem.
Since I think the mutation is unattractive, and especially since the cost of
the grotesque flower (and I use that adjective in both the sense of ``ornate''
as well as the sense of ``ugly'') is that the flower is no longer capable of
producing seed, the possible viral---and therefore contagious---nature of
the mutation is worrisome to me. (Sorry about that sentence). Anyway, he
wrote to me some exceedingly unsettling news:

``You mentioned the Tarnok leuco in your last letter. Well
get this, When I dropped by at (name deleted)'s last month,
he showed me a Tarnok-form of purpurea. It was a plant he had
planted around a pond at his place and this spring he noticed
the flower was the so-called Tarnok type. Who knows if it's
genetic, viral, or environmental. I had flowers this spring
that had siamese flowers---some that the scape forked with a
four-sepal/petal flower on each branch, flowers with six petals,
all sorts of bizzare s**t! All this on plants that flowered
normally for years before.''

First I will throw Jan a bone and point out that in this letter my
friend is usurping the `Tarnok' name of the properly described
_S.leucophylla_ cultivar and incorrectly using it to informally describe
plants with the double-flowered mutation. That done, I note that it
sounds much like some virus may be spreading around collections. I do not
wish to be alarmist, merely cautious. I suggest that the serious growers
out there thumb through the pruning sections of orchid books to see what
orchid growers have to do in order to deal with virus problems. Constantly
sterilizing their tools in flame, they are!

4)Finally, I have found a new listserv for people with small greenhouses.
Run by HGA, the Hobby Greenhouse Association, this may be a nice list. I
heard about it from a person on the ever-quiet bromeliad list.
To sign up, send
SUB HGA-L <your name>
to the address