What would it take?

Discussion in 'Araceae' started by photopro, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Many gardeners and house plant lovers grow Philodendron, Anthurium, Caladium, Spathiphyllum, Alocasia, Colocasia, Amorphophallus along with many other "elephant ear" plants which are among the 3300 members of the aroid family.

    What would it take to make you want to join the International Aroid Society? Some of the society's members really want to know what we can do to make the IAS attractive to you?

    www.Aroid.org
     

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    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  2. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

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    Steve this may not be possible with the IAS, but one thing that I think helps tie our Brugmansia/Datura community together is a dedicated forum (including a trade/exchange section). It encourages new ones & non-experts to participate. We get most of our threads started by non-experts, but then the experts will chime in and often great in-depth discussions ensue that would have never started in a more professional environment.
    Like many plant societies, we have one of the basic sub-forums open to the public. The others have their headers visible to everyone, but can only be accessed with paid society membership, which makes for an additional revenue source.
    Another possibility that we use is our seed & pollen banks (but I don't know anything about storage-time issues with aroids). They are stocked through member donations encouraged in the forums, and are very effective in helping lure new members.
     
  3. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    We've tried to figure out a way to establish a seed bank but the best we can do is establish a way to store pollen. The germination period for aroid seeds is very short with few exceptions. If they are not stored in perfect conditions few will last more than a few weeks and frequently not that often.

    I will add your other suggestion to my report to the board of governors. That is part of the goal of Aroid l but there are those that don't like the email format. For the most part majority of users appear to like it and the board does not wish to change the forum at this time. Most of the questions are posted by interested aroiders that are not required to be IAS members and then answered by either a qualified grower but frequently by one of our botanists.



    Thanks.
     
  4. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

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    I am interested in learning about aroid pollen viability, so maybe I'll start a separate thread.
    It sure would be nice to have a place to exchange aroid pollen. For instance I have Alocasia 'Purple Prince' with 2' leaves that are thick & glossy & vividly lined that I have really wanted to try hybridizing with, but I just don't have anything I think is worthy of crossing with it.
     
  5. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Aroid experts Leland Miyano, LariAnn Garner, Ron Weeks and many others store pollen by freezing it. You can learn a bit about aroid pollination including how it is frozen on this page written largely by aroid expert Julius Boos.

    http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Natural and artificial pollination in aroids.html

    There is a member of the IAS board of governors living in your area I believe. If you'd like I'll ask him to contact you.
     
  6. DEllis326

    DEllis326 Member

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    Now that I joined up a couple weeks ago I've had the chance to poke around on the IAS site and I can say that I think there's tons of useful info there. Some of it is a bit over my head, not because of content but because of the depth to which it is written. In other words it seems like much of it is written for botany professionals rather then a hobbyist grower, to say to least for someone who just wants to grow plants in their living room.

    It might be a good idea to have a version of some of the more technical articles that are written for the lay person. For example, often in Nature or American Scientist magazines you'll find very technical articles written for professionals and you'll find a very similar articles that are much easier to understand without a higher education in magazine such as Discover or Scientific American.

    Something else along those lines are articles written about common aroid houseplants that are on the site written in a way that will come up on a Google search e.g; "Houseplants" or something equally generic, This could draw in people who would otherwise never have discovered the organization.

    A up to date forum format would be good. Email formats sometimes are difficult to keep track of.

    Hope that's some help
    Danny
     
  7. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Danny, I think we're already trying to get at least part of that solved but we need your advice.

    In the next issue of the IAS newsletter which will be out in March I believe you'll find at least one very useful growing article written by a very knowledgeable grower that also posts right here on UBC (not me, I'm still very much a student!).

    In the next issue of Aroideana, our annual journal, you'll find an article which I did write with the help of some very professional aroiders including Dr. Croat, Elizabeth Campbell and Christopher Rogers which sets out to give you definitions of 230 plus botanical terms. We tried our best to make each definition as uncomplicated as possible so they can be used as a glossary at the same time you read the articles written by our botanists in the same issue. I also believe there will be an article written strictly for growers. We want you to understand and use everything in the issue!

    We're now discussing the possibility of putting a form of the Aroideana glossary on my website so it can be easily searched but also add some of the phonetic pronunciations to as many terms as possible. Beth Campbell (Lorax here on UBC) has already provided many of those pronunciations since my personal goal is to not only help aroiders read the words but have a descent idea how they should be spoken so you can use them while working with your plants or talking to other folks with a similar interest.

    The material on the IAS website is largely provided by our professional members but you are certainly right there is room for many articles of interest strictly to growers. Albert Huntington takes care of the website so let me know and I'll pass along your ideas. Part of the problem is the IAS is an all volunteer organization with no paid staff. As a result we have to depend on our members to help us to write or find these articles to publish!

    We also welcome articles and/or article suggestions from anyone! If you have an article idea please feel free to let me know and I'll suggest it to the newsletter or Aroideana editor. If you have an idea but don't want to write the article also let us know and we'll see if we can find someone to write it.

    The IAS board of governors will be discussing other ideas in the near future as to how we can serve our members better so ideas like this are very important. Please feel free to post more ideas here but for anyone that has an idea they would prefer not to discuss in a public forum my address is Steve@ExoticRainforest.com

    We are also actively working on helping members form local chapters so you can share your collections and information with each other on a local basis. As you know we are having a meeting at the Missouri Botanical Garden on April 24 and Dr. Croat has put together a full day of activities including talks, slide shows, a tour or the research facility and aroid greenhouse, perhaps some free seedlings to take home and more! I will be posting the schedule of activities on UBC soon.

    Thanks again for the input!

    We want the IAS to serve our members so thanks for the suggestion!
     
  8. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Agree with DEllis! While formidable and masterly, the incredible knowledge represented can be (OK, is) intimidating to the owner of the modest heart-leaved philodendron. I daresay that many folks own aroids and don't even know it. I had not heard the term before I joined this Forum. You gotta show folks that you have something they need, and you gotta present it in a way that can be immediately understood. I am ABSOLUTELY NOT talking about 'dumbing down' anything: I mean simplify. Do not at all change or compromise your high standards---add a few things for those you seek to attract. Leaven your publication now and again with, say, an article aimed at the plant lover who has just discovered that her/his spathiphyllum is indeed an aroid, or someone who needs advice on his frozen split-leafs. Expert knowledge applied in an understandable way.

    What you need is the initial hook, the word, the phrase, the photo that catches the eye...that will cause the potential member to stop, to look...look a little further...and say 'Hey, this is really cool.'

    Sell a tshirt and/or poster printed with that gorgeous photo in your initial post, Steve! Speaking of catching the eye...wow! I'd buy one. Maybe two.---Hmm. Bumper stickers emblazoned with 'Have you hugged your Aroid today? www.Aroid.org' and a lovely philodendron leaf or 2. OK, maybe not 'I honk for Aroids'...! but you get the idea. If you want folks to join up, you gotta appeal to 'em. It pays to advertise.
     
  9. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a bunch! Some of those things are already done including several T-shirts, carrying bags and more. However, you are very correct we need to make some of our published material as well as info on our website and in our publications "user friendly". Some of us are working on those suggestions already but we need to hear them more often!

    Thanks for the input! Your post will be added to my next report to the board of governors.

    Where would you like your member application sent??????????????????????
     
  10. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Ha! :-) As soon as I get my debit-card situation straightened out (SOMEONE, a stranger to me, was trying my account on for size) I shall proudly join up. The site really is excellent. Agree with DEllis on another point: do whatever tech magic is required so that when ANY AROID is googled, the searcher instantly sees the Aroid Society on the screen. I mean, really---why mess around with anything but the best?

    Would be great if you could get the website put on those infernal plastic stakes found in store-bought plants---y'know, the ones that are helpfully printed with the self-evident words "Tropical Foliage"? Hey, I'd be willing to do a spot of undercover stake-placing myself. Think of the plants we'd be helping to live full and happy lives! On the TV news ("Local Woman Arrested At Area Home Depot") you'd see me being loaded up into the police cruiser, shouting "I did it for the aroids!!!"

    Maybe teddy bears with miniature tshirts reading "I (heart) AROIDS!"
    Just kidding.

    Keep up the most excellent work, Steve. I have learned much from you, and am unfailingly impressed by the depth of your knowledge, your passion for your subject, and your articulate expression of both.

    Excelsior!
     
  11. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    If I could I'd buy you lunch!

    Thanks for all the suggestions and the last one is wonderful! I am just not certain how we might get it done but I will put that one right at the top of my list of suggestions to the board!

    For those that don't know, joining the IAS is simple. Just log on to www.Aroid.org, go to the left of the page, click the link and you'll be taken to PayPal. Within a short period of time several of the officers will receive an email and I'll send you a personal note!

    The IAS needs YOU so we can make our organization even better!
     

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