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Who can you trust?
(above) Many Trichocereus varieties can flower simultaneously. Seeds will almost surely be cross-pollinated with unknown donor pollen.
Backyard seed sellers ignore the problem of inbreeding and cross pollination. In a natural setting San Pedro and Torches self propagate—not by seed—but by pups from the roots and self rooting fallen pieces (logging). After many years they form a stand comprised of what appear to be separate plants; but they are all genetically identical to the parent.

Seed from such a plant does not increase "genetic diversity" as some think. It is simple inbreeding.
Genetic diversity is a characteristic of ecosystems and gene pools...there are many different versions of otherwise similar organisms. ...the Irish potato famine can be attributed in part to the fact that the genetic distance of all potatoes in the country was very low, making it easier for one virus to infect and kill much of the crop. (from Wikipedia)

Heirloom tomatoes, peppers and and other annual vegetables exist in large numbers of varieties not commercially grown. Instead, their seeds are saved year after year by the individuals that raise them. My own mother, for example, saved her home grown tomato seeds every season. That is how "heirloom" varieties are preserved.
Biodiversity applies to plant varieties, not individual specimens
"...Seeds of Change started with a simple mission: to help preserve biodiversity...We sought to do this by cultivating and disseminating an extensive range of open-pollinated, organically grown, heirloom and traditional...seeds."
(Above) This mission statement is from Seeds of Change.
They refer to cultivating "...an extensive range of (plants)..." NOT to cross breeding them.

In Peru various varieties of Trichocereus have been prevented from cross pollination by geographical separation. Collectors specify a collection site # to keep track of where particular types are located. Valleys, mountains, and elevation keep varieties separated over thousands of years—thus preventing cross-breeding. This leads to easily identifiable types such as San Pedro, Bridgesii, and Peruvianus.

If a flowering Trichocereus is pollinated by another Trichocereus variety it becomes a hybrid. The San Pedro X Peruvianus is a well known one that has very nice characteristics. But not all hybrids are good. I personally do not trust seed because many varieties of Trichocereus will flower at the same time. Unwanted cross pollination is bound to occur.
One of the worst experiences I've had with other vendors was with RSB. The plant they associated with their seed is shown at right. Their sample picture is not a standard Peruvianus. I know that for a certainty because I own specimens of the variety pictured. What they sell is something else.
If this was a simple mistake I would have expected RSB to remove the photo and replace it with the actual Moe, Larry & Curley varieties (see below) their plants will mature into.
The seedlings RSB sold do not grow up to look anything like this sample.
 

216 is NOT 500
I ordered 500 seedlings from RSB but only received 216. The invoice said "Quantity 500". Yet a note explained that since some of the seedlings were "bigger than 1-gram" that made them count as 2 plants. I sent the half filled order back and never contacted RSB again. What a rip off!
(above) Look at this RSB batch in which 20% died from root shock. Another 20% were permanently sickly. RSB stopped selling them right after my order, then said in a SPAM email that their seedlings had suffered freeze damage. They never made it up to me.
Seed source? When collected? View a sample plant?
Where is the seed from? How was the plant pollinated? Was it self pollinated (inbreeding) or was it pollinated with another specimen? If so what was the second specimen? How old is the seed? Is it fresh this year? When did the specimen flower? Was germination rate tested? When? What was % of seed germinating? Is a photo available of the seed donor plant? Why not? Is a photo of the donor plant available or was the plant self pollinated (inbred)? Are pictures available of plants grown for several years from the seed?
3 stooges from Peru?
The seedlings sold by RSB contain three distinct variations. Only the top one resembles the standard Peruvian Torch. RSB seedlings grow into 3-types of plants, not one as they should.

Either the seed has mixed genetic characteristics from unwanted cross breeding, or someone is mixing 3- seed stocks together. Who knows?
I call these 3-varieties Moe, Larry, and Curley.

Three types of seed mixed together?
Or a cross pollinated plant? Cross pollinated with what?


Contact: Cactus_Kate@trichocereus.com
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