a bit of Canadian CP hobby history


Hi everyone,

Looks like I'm back in the CP hobby for good. The past few years, I'd been just maintaining my existing CP collection, ignoring it most of the time. But with the 2020 pandemic, I had decided to repair and renew my old greenhouse, and clean up my CP collection. It's perked up the serious interest back in me!

It'll take me awhile to sort out what species and varieties I've still got... as most of the labels are faded or had broken away. So in the process of identifying my plants, I went into my old CP orders and catalogues (yes, we used to do everything by snail mail)... going back to the 1970s. I found some nice correspondence with some of the now CP world luminaries. People like Robert Cantley of Borneo Exotics, Authors Gord Snelling, Barry Meyers-Rice, Stewart McPherson and others.

The best part were the early CP catalogues. I have two fat binders full of them, from Marston Exotics, ISRA Exotics (before it became Borneo Exotics), World Insectivorous Plants and many others. My earliest CP catalogues date back to 1975, I plan to scan some pages inside and share some of the thinking back then (Nepenthes stuffed full of bugs, VFTs with traps closed around lit cigarettes!)

Back then, it was next to impossible to obtain plants for us Canadians. Although CITES didn't occur until the 80s, there were few plants available from sellers, as no one knew where to locate CP sellers. And then when they did arrive, Agriculture Canada may seize all the plants and destroy them (we never knew about import permits and phytosanitary back then).

And the prices paid for the plants... some plants that were rare back then, are now widely available and affordable. On the other hand, other plants were so inexpensive. Like large slow growing Nepenthes like N edwardsiana and N villosas for under $50! I'll continue my ramblings on this thread, as I find time for it.

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It's quite good (and bad if you think about the possible expenses) you are coming back into the hobby! Always interesting to read stories of how the hobby was developing in Canada since you only often read about development in the States. The price differences in plants is pretty staggering from then compared to now, though that is to be expected with advances in technology or possible monopolies on certain species.
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