|When the Monarch Butterfly NZ Trust wanted to give a gift of plants, locally sourced from Rarangi Beach, east of Blenheim, they came to Oratia. Not only could we provide an eco-sourced species, it was also a plant which had since disappeared from the region!
This is the Trust's story.
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We propagate most of our own plant material by seed, division, or cuttings. We prefer to use seed where possible to ensure that maximum genetic diversity is maintained. Where propagation is by cuttings, we generally use a range of source plants, again to avoid the problems that can arise from producing clones.
While tissue culture or highly selective propagation methods are an excellent way of keeping certain desirable qualities in a line of plants, any threat to those plants is likely to cause widespread harm to the entire line because of their genetic similarities. This may not be a problem on a small scale for ornamental garden plants, but it is certainly undesirable to allow restrictive propagation methods to confine our gene pool where plants are to be used on a broader scale for revegetation projects.