Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum: Mitigating the NOID problem.

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Name: Terri Stanley
Doddridge Co. WV (Zone 6a)
Terristanley.blogspot.com
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TerriStanley
Jul 29, 2016 9:27 AM CST
What, if anything, can be done? Obviously this is an issue for me, and I know it's a concern for a lot of other Semp and Jovi people as well.
In a recent rant to Greg, I was pontificating about the weak link.
Who is ultimately responsible when I receive ??? Semp. whilst expecting a named cultivar? The growers? The 20 somethings' employee with other things on his/her mind? I know with an email you could straighten out an incorrect plant in your order. But what can we do to actually mitigate this NOID problem? No one wants to constantly be calling their vendor to complain about incorrect plants, I know I don't.
Sunset zone 36
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort!
[Last edited by TerriStanley - Jul 29, 2016 10:50 AM (+)]
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Name: Tim Stoehr
Canby, Oregon (Zone 8b)
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tcstoehr
Jul 29, 2016 12:32 PM CST
I'm glad to hear somebody else with this concern. I offer no solutions but I love a good rant so here goes.
[Rant]
In my opinion, the current situation is intractable. It's like a virus in the wild. You can slow it down but you can never get rid of it. We just muddle along as best we can and weed out the impostors as we discover them, hopefully before handing offsets out to other enthusiasts so we don't make the problem worse. Making the situation worse is (my pet peeve) so many cultivars are so similar that no expert on the planet can tell them apart. There are too, too many.
[/Rant]

I'll be hiding under my desk for the next several days.
[Last edited by tcstoehr - Jul 29, 2016 12:36 PM (+)]
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Name: Paul
Antelope Valley, S. California
Zone 8B/9A
Region: California
cahdg6891
Jul 29, 2016 1:15 PM CST
Well said, Tim. Agreed!
Name: Kevin Vaughn
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
JungleShadows
Jul 29, 2016 8:42 PM CST
OK my rant Tim and Terry!

Most of the nurseries are trying to sell the right plant, especially the ones endorsed by this site and tested by a number of our members. They are human however. They often have inherited this name from another vendor and have kept that label on that plant religiously, thinking it is correct. I don't think orders from any of these reputable sources is going to give you mostly wrong plants, rather they are the exception, not the rule. In fact, I have only received one dubious plant since I started growing them again in 2010.

Winnie Crane was the only person I know that took on the NOIDs directly. She had all the semp nurseries in the US send plants to her under the name they had received them and then bought all the verified specimens from Peter Mitchell, founder of the Semp Society. That was when we only had 300 cultivars! It would be impossible to do it now.

Lynn has worked hard to verify the identity of the plants as have our friends in Germany. As I sit in my office I have 50 years of records of my own on these plants and some of the original descriptions from the catalogs in which the cultivar was introduced.

OK ranting over. We've never had it so good!

Kevin
Name: Terri Stanley
Doddridge Co. WV (Zone 6a)
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TerriStanley
Jul 29, 2016 9:09 PM CST
Obviously nothing can cure what's already circulating out there. But we do have options. I will be notifying the vendor that sent me the incorrect cultivar 2 yrs ago. As well as vendors that sent incorrect plants this spring.
As much as I dislike having to ride people, this is one of the times that it's necessary. Maybe if everyone that received an incorrect semp, went back to the vendor and did a bit of complaining, it would improve. Plant vendors don't want to spend their time fielding those types of calls. They are in business and they want to take orders. If I want them to send me the correct plants, I have to let them know when they get it wrong. They must be made aware that there's a problem.
I must be confident that the plant I'm selling at the farmers market or, trading with forum members, is indeed the correctly named semp!
Sending out the correctly named plants is absolutely the least a plant vendor can do! They cannot "fix" it, but they certainty can improve it.

My plants are very important to me. I enjoy collecting the species and cultivars that are pleasing to me, as we all do. We lovingly plant and tend. Spend time and effort to label, photograph and document. Yet somehow, somewhere along the line someone made a mistake or wasn't paying attention or simply didn't know better. Abracadabra, I have another noid! Grumbling
Sunset zone 36
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort!
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Jul 29, 2016 9:12 PM CST
Thanks for your insight, Kevin. And I agree about Lynn's verification efforts with help of a few members here being ever so diligent.
Name: Terri Stanley
Doddridge Co. WV (Zone 6a)
Terristanley.blogspot.com
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TerriStanley
Jul 29, 2016 9:23 PM CST
Cross posted, sorry Kevin.
I realize they "want" to get it right. But the fact of the matter is, they're not.
I will not mention any nursary's name, but I received more than 1 noid from more than one semp vendor this year.
We do have it good, I see that. I just want it a teensy, weensy bit better!

Lynn is a dynamo! Without her efforts in this area, I hazard to think what would be considered acceptable.
Sunset zone 36
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort!
[Last edited by TerriStanley - Jul 29, 2016 9:27 PM (+)]
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Name: Tim Stoehr
Canby, Oregon (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Region: Pacific Northwest Vegetable Grower Cactus and Succulents Sedums Bee Lover
Region: Oregon Dragonflies Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Composter Apples
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tcstoehr
Jul 29, 2016 9:44 PM CST
Only one dubious plant since 2010? You really do have it good. Just this year I've had the dubious 'Pacific Knight' which I'm now 70% confident is correct, but noone can really say. And I received a definitely wrong 'Fuego' from a trusted source. And recently through Lynn discovered that my (and her) 'Strider' is probably actually a 'Bronco'. Last year I got the wrong 'Raspberry Ice' from Cistus Nursery which I would not consider a trusted source. I would bet some serious cash that there are others lurking about in my garden of roughly 100 cultivars. But who could really say? It's impossible for me to ever know. I don't lose any sleep over it but that's just me, maybe somebody else takes it more seriously.

I don't think anyone is saying that our good sources are irresponsible, but it wouldn't surprise me if each and every one of them has some incorrect stock. One label mix-up results in dozens of wrong shipments which gets multiplied into even more as hobbyists and vendors propagate them and send them along. It's unrealistic to think we can get all this 100% correct... I get that.

As I think about this... in the end I agree with Kevin... we do have it pretty good. But it could be better and I still think it's too easy to make new introductions. But that's just one amateur's opinion.
Name: Kevin Vaughn
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
JungleShadows
Jul 29, 2016 10:46 PM CST
Terri,

I think most dealers who are responsible would certainly want to fix whatever problem you have. This is why they're still in business.

I think we are still making a mountain out of a mole hill!

No one is perfect on this! The first time I went to Lynn's she had a number that were incorrect and she's the one in charge of this identification!! A lot of the hybrids are 40 years old and they have gone through several incarnations of a nursery. It's probably amazing that most of them are correct.

Stay cool all.

Kevin
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Jul 29, 2016 11:20 PM CST
@TerriStanley We 'collectors' are collecting something that is changeable, has different looks at different times of the year, has had a history of some mixed up plants, or incorrect labels, and are collecting something that most people are utilizing in a pot to add color or design - and don't care what it is called - they may or may not even know they're called sempervivum!! So it is an uphill battle!!
My attitude is that whenever I get something that I know is wrong - in this case it is your 'Pacific Rim' which has been ID'd as wrong because of the white/green bloom color, which is a strong identifier, once it blooms and you see they are the wrong color for the plant, it gives you the clue - maybe at the nursery they never bloomed?? So, I contact the nursery to let them know and have them check their stock, each nursery will listen or not - this isn't necessarily a rude thing, it is just that most of their customers don't care if a label is correct or not - if you let them know you are contacting them because you DO want correct plants, and you are a regular customer, I think you'll have a response. The nursery people want happy customers. And many of them do want correct plants! Thumbs up For me I don't consider contacting the nursery for my money back, but so they don't continue sending out the incorrect plant. It sometimes takes many attempts at contacting them - there is one nursery that took me 2 years before they removed the plant from their inventory, so patience is good too! Thumbs up
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Jul 29, 2016 11:21 PM CST
@Jungleshadows Kevin we cross posted - yes I agree that they want to have correct labels, also in my experience it isn't just one time of contacting them. I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Paul
Antelope Valley, S. California
Zone 8B/9A
Region: California
cahdg6891
Jul 30, 2016 12:38 AM CST
Wow, that's a lot of work that has gone into properly identifying them. I just wish they were easier to tell apart, one semp can look like dozens of others depending on all kinds of things. On the other hand, instead of all the incredible colors, sizes, textures etc that are already available or being created, they could all look the same. I suppose an occasional bit of fixable confusion is preferable. Big Grin Kudos to all the good folks who have put so much time and effort into sorting it all out for the rest of us.
Name: Kevin Vaughn
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
JungleShadows
Jul 30, 2016 9:01 AM CST
Greg,

Agreed that flowers are often your best indicator. leaf tips of darker color are another. That tends NOT to change even under various growing conditions.

We look to the Germans as being the gold standard too but Erwin has found things of mine that are wrong over there. Luckily I'm still on the planet and can tell him whether it is or not.

Also I can understand why a note from a single customer might not convince them unless you have good documentation. These plants look very different in different locations so that even the photos shown on our data base don't cover all these situations. The only real way is growing the plants side by side. That's how Mrs. Crane did it. However, I do think your notes on a "possible bad ID" is useful for the nursery people. Remember they have invested a lot of $$ producing this plant too. Recently I saw 'Rubikon' and had never seen it that large but it was being grown in hoop houses with optimal fertilizer and water. It didn't have to deal with the vagaries of life in the real world. So here's a plant I've known for 45 years but I'm finally seeing it grown optimally. So don't rush to judgement.

Kevin
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Jul 30, 2016 10:06 AM CST
I personally love our little conversations on here about wrong cultivars. Learn so much on those threads. I'm a big Heuchera fan and have collected for years but when you get a wrong ID on those that hurts the pocket book. I'm not so hurt when one of the semps is wrong. I been burned many times but with so many cultivars out there easy to replace. We have a local gal selling semps to area nurseries that has a number of cultivars wrong, way wrong. I'm hooping to meet with her at the Redmond farmers Market and have a chat. Maybe get her in with us. We can't move mountains but we can change things a little at a time and soon have a big impact.
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Name: Kevin Vaughn
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
JungleShadows
Jul 30, 2016 11:00 AM CST
Beautifully spoken Julia!
Name: Patty
Washington State (Zone 8b)
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Patty
Jul 30, 2016 11:10 AM CST
Speaking of heucherra, I too have noticed (a goodly amount of time) photos of other plants - lilies etc - that to ME clearly looked to be wrong. Last year I had divided Rubikon and grew half in full sun and half in shade. It was hard to believe they were the same plant. And my Roasted Chestnuts side by side that look quite different from each other. (Pics later). I wonder sometimes if we are too hasty in declaring someone's semp a noid. Shrug!
Patty 🌺
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
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pardalinum
Jul 30, 2016 11:34 AM CST
Good point, Patty. Since you mentioned lilies, a lot depends on soil too! Many grown in parts of Wisconsin tend to look washed out. People are really jealous of us in the Northwest where these plants show off the brightest colors and markings.

I have Rubikon but don't know if it is correct (It's from the Prince place). Whatever it is I really like it.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Jul 30, 2016 1:38 PM CST
when I wrote last night about contacting the nursery, I got side tracked, so didn't finish my thought, Kevin you finished it for me - if you're contacting them via email, have links to other sites with photos of the plant, in this specific instance, Pacific Rim is said to have pink blooms - and there are photos of them on sempervivum.liste.de yet Terri's pics show a white/green bloom, which is why I was saying an easy way of knowing it is incorrect, and therefor include this info when contacting the nursery.
But Yes I to like the 'problem solving' aspect of making sure plants are correct. Although I do get annoyed if there are several all at once showing up as NOIDs, or when the NOID is so much prettier than the actual plant Hilarious! Shrug!
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Terri Stanley
Doddridge Co. WV (Zone 6a)
Terristanley.blogspot.com
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TerriStanley
Jul 30, 2016 2:19 PM CST
Yes, documentation, of course. Easy peasy for this one.
Now I'm off to get the images for 'More Honey' since that was one of the incorrect plants from this spring.


Sunset zone 36
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Jul 30, 2016 3:49 PM CST

Moderator

Just now finding this new thread. I love the input from everyone. This is the best way to solve our ID problems.
You all are amazing. This has been a concerted effort for a long time, the more of us that are working together on this the better the outcome.
I think it works very well if a new thread is opened for each cultivar/species in question, and let the discussion begin. Thumbs up

The 'Rubikon' from Little is correct. Both Kevin and I saw it in person.

As others said above, the best thing to do is contact the vendor after you have thoroughly researched. Send links in your email so they can easily find the information needed.

Kevin do you have a written description of 'Pacific Rim'?
I'm not at home right now, and won't be for a couple more weeks, so I can't research right now.

We can't always just take what is found on the German sites as being correct either. Like us, on occasion they may have something incorrect.

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