Trade of sword fern leaves as floristic ornamental

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Botanykerwin_0529, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. Botanykerwin_0529

    Botanykerwin_0529 New Member

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    Frohnleiten, Styria, Austria, Europe
    Hi, my name is Erwin, native to Styria, a province at SE Austria. Am botanist, generally interested in all kinds of plants, still as there are so many, many flowering plants, i usually try to reduce my activities to ferns, sometimes gymnosperms, surely often cross those limits, loosing myself in "diversity of life".
    !Back to ferns!
    Estimated 20ys ago it was easy to buy fresh, imported leaves of Polystichum munitum as part of floristic arrangements, as these had been traded then. No idea when this stopped, and for what reason, trends surely are changing. Was no problem at all, in case i didn't wish to have fresh, viable spores of this fern for to grow new plants to study their growth potential and at 2nd step to try producing hybrids with congeneric species.

    Hence my question: does anyone know why this trade has been stopped? I do remember to have seen leaves with mature sori (sporangia clusters) when leaves were traded, which had would been a good source for propagation.
     
  2. pmurphy

    pmurphy Active Member

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    I would check with your agriculture department as to why; it is possible that Austria has had issues with pests, diseases or invasiveness that prompted it to impose restrictions or bans (it is very difficult if not impossible to - legally - import plant matter into, or move it within, many countries due to these same issues)
     
  3. Botanykerwin_0529

    Botanykerwin_0529 New Member

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    Thanks pmurphy for this suggestion.
    Despite being botanist myself, i never got aware of any harmful pest or disease spread by such ferns. There are a few, seemingly rather harmless kinds of rust fungi, or other fungi to grow on ferns, but of no economic or ecologic importance, - as far as i may know.
    Hence i do suppose the trade could have been stopped to prevent damage from harvested populations of Western Sword Fern, respectively to preserve their habitats in general. Or this trade went to expensive, earning too little by time. Sure this is nothing but guessing, but i will get the right clue by time, and will share it here.
     
  4. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    I think, that this is mostly a matter of trend/fashion. Something, that is cool and sells well one year, migh be out of fashion next 30 years.
    As much as I remember, those bouquets with ferns littered a lot. I think, that might have been rendered these unpopular.
     
  5. Botanykerwin_0529

    Botanykerwin_0529 New Member

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    "As much as I remember, those bouquets with ferns littered a lot" - i may imagine such leaves will have littered a lot of brown spores, when collected at right time, nothing one liked to have on desks or elsewhere (exept weird botanist like me).
     

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