Monday, October 27, 2014

Primulina progress --- Where will it come from?

Primulina 'Aiko'
Story # 140,

            Maybe a few thousand people in the World know what a Primulina is.  Hobbyists who may be growing this obscure Genus from Asia have their own opinions about the worth of this African Violet relative.  Even the Gesneriad flower shows have had to compensate for the long delay in flowering by having judged classes both for in flower and not in flower.

            Because they can be grown as attractive foliage plants gives hope that Primulinas could be a commercial crop

            But where will the new varieties come from?  Who will champion the plants to develop the market, improve the variegation, shorten the flowering time, add new flower colors or develop faster production techniques?

            In the computer tech business, venture capital bets on the next Big Thing.  No such thing in horticulture.  The rewards are too small.  No horticulture company can be cashed in with an IPO.

            Progress will have to come from curious hobbyists who like to create something new.   That’s where the existing hybrids have come from.

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