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Re: Hybrids (was E. cordifolius)

    I think that telling some one not to hybridize or try their hand at 
growing new plants is like saying, "You don't need to think about it, leave 
it all up to Big Brother... we will take care of everything." It's like 
telling some one with Discus that they shouldn't try breeding their fish 
because that's only suitable for breeder to do! What, should we always just 
listen to commercial ventures, and not experiment? No, we should try new 
things, new plants, new breeds. This is not to say that Commercial breeders 
don't know what they are talking about. Without them we could not exist, but 
we should not leave everything up to them either, we should expand and try 
new things that may not be commercially viable for them. Like all specific 
hobbies like this, without hobbyist experimentation, we would still have 
Heckel Discus, and be buying all sorts of expensive equipment because 
commercial vendors said "This is the way" and we all followed like sheep. No, 
we did not, and really should get into sexually reproducing plants! That's 
why nature made flowering plants! If Nature had not wanted us to hybridize 
them, they would all reproduce vegitatively!
    I think our hobby is behind in the hybridizing area. I grow Orchids as 
well, and many people like to 'protect their natural forms' but I think that 
this view of a 'natural species' is unjustified. What is a man made hybrid 
different than any "natural species"? Do we believe that we are so far 
departed from nature that we are not part of nature? No, I believe that it is 
part of evolution for man to take an active roll in the development and 
preservation of certain genetic characteristics, and to enhance them.
    I love to see natural plants and animals out in nature, but when we look 
at other hobbies, and ours, we always seem to be two steps behind other 
hobbies (cat, dog, bird?, reptiles?). By simply growing these plants and not 
trying to breed them, we are no better than the people who just keep and kill 
plants. Every other living hobby aims to breed and reproduce, possibly 
enhance through selective breeding their favorite strains. I think that it is 
presumptuous of ourselves to believe that we can do any lasting damage to 
    Trying to preserve "natural species" is a hypocritical view, because that 
is saying that Mankind is outside of nature, and is not under Nature's rule. 
Yes it is possible to significantly injure the world we live in, however that 
will never happen, since eventually we will have to bow down to mother 
Nature. I believe that we should enjoy our plants to the fullest, and learn 
how to get them to reproduce, possibly hybridizing. 
    My favorite Orchid is a hybrid of a number of different generas, but it 
is the best smelling, most profuse, and prettiest plant I own. This plant has 
brought more joy to people from it's existance, than it would have, had it 
not been created "artificially". Odontocidium "Sharry Baby" if anyone is 

    Fishboy: "Flame shield ON!"
    Bill Gould
    "My Job is to comfort the Disturbed, and to disturb the Comfortable"