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Full text of "Wild Plants in Trade"

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WILD 

PLANTS IN 

TRADE 



Martin Jenkins & Sara Oldfield 



A TRAFFIC NETWORK REPORT 



TRAFFIC 



Europe 



This report was published 
with the kind support of 







Published by TRAFFIC International, 

Cambridge, United Kingdom. 

With financial suppoil from 

WWF UK (World Wide Fund For Nature). 

© 1992 TRAFFIC International. 
All rights reserved. 

All material appearing in this publication is 
copyrighted and may be reproduced 
with permission. Please credit: TRAFFIC 
International — Headquarters of the 
TRAFFIC Network, the wildlife trade 
monitoring programme of WWF and lUCN. 

The views of the author expressed in this 
publication do not necessarily reflect 
those of the TRAFFIC Network, WWF or 
lUCN. 

The designations of geographical entities in 
this publication, and the presentation of 
the material, do not imply the expression of 
any opinion whatsoever on the part of 
TRAFFIC or its supporting organizations 
concerning the legal status of any country, 
territory, or area, or of its authorities, or 
concerning the delimitation of its frontiers 
or boundaries. 

ISBN 947613 89 7 






WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



Martin Jenkins and Sara Oldfleld 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



SOURCES OF INFORMATION 

Preface 1 

Introduction 3 

Species reviews 1 1 

Orchids 11 

Bulbs 18 

Cycads, palms and tree ferns 21 

Cacti and succulent plants 24 

Carnivorous plants 27 

Air plants 29 

Sources of information 31 

Useful addresses 32 

Annex I 33 

Notes 36 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



PREFACE 

The European market for wild plants 

With a population of some 300 million and centuries of gardening tradition. Western Europe 
is undoubtedly the world's largest market for horticultural products. To a large extent the 
countries within Western Europe, and particularly those belonging to the EC, already act as 
a single market for horticultural plants, the main hub of the trade being the Netherlands. 
While there are innumerable outlets where common horticultural plants can be bought, the 
number of nurseries supplying a wide range of specialist plants to the dedicated collector in 
Europe is relatively small. Many of these have an international reputation and collectors 
travel across Europe to visit them, knowing where the rarities can be found. 

Although the great majority of plants in trade, both in specialist nurseries and general 
horticultural outlets, are artificially propagated, it is known that a significant number of wild- 
collected plants still appear for sale. However the extent and importance of this trade has 
remained largely unknown. 

TRAFFIC'S European nursery survey 

To try to determine the extent of trade in wild-collected plants in Europe, TRAFFIC Europe 
carried out a six-month investigation during 1991, funded by WWF and the United Kingdom 
Department of the Environment. Nursery surveys took place in eight countries (Belgium: 
France; Germany; Italy; the Netherlands; Spain (Canary Islands); Switzerland and the 
United Kingdom) and information was gathered by other means from other EC Member 
States and Austria. 

The aims of the project were to assess the trade in selected wild-collected plant species in 
Europe in order to develop appropriate means to improve controls and to increase the general 
awareness of plant trade issues among government authorities and the general public. 

The results of the study (T/if wild plant trade in Europe: Results of a survey of European 
Nurseries published by TRAFFIC Europe. 1992) demonstrated conclusively that trade in 
wild-collected plants still persists within Europe. This trade fell under three categories: mass 
importation of some species for the general or 'supermarket' trade; importation of prestige 
'specimen' plants for the non-specialist trade: and importation of plants for the specialist 
collector. Detailed information collected during the survey regarding individual plant 
groups is incorporated into the species sections of the present text. 

Germany remains the largest specialist market for cacti and other succulents and there is still 
a significant demand for wild-collected plants. There are two major importers of wild- 
collected succulents from Madagascar and South Africa, which sell directly to the public and 
supply other European nurseries. In recent years Italy has become an important market for 
specialist cacti and succulents with ten nurseries selling significant quantities of wild plants. 
Italian dealers apparently obtain these plants from a wide variety of sources both directly 
from the countries of origin and via countries such as Austria, Germany and the Netherlands. 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



The UK was historically the centre of the European orchid trade. It still has a relatively large 
number of orchid nurseries, around 30, but these do not appear to deal in large numbers of 
wild plants. France also has a long tradition of orchid cultivation and trade. Several 
nurseries offer large quantities of wild species of native and tropical origin. However, most 
of the traders who specialise in the importation of both propagated and wild orchids are 
based in the Netherlands and to a lesser extent in Germany. Dutch orchid nurseries are 
known to import from Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil. Ghana, Honduras, Costa Rica, 
Hong Kong, Suriname and Mexico. It is believed that increasingly imports come via other 
European countries, chiefly Belgium and France, where import controls are less strict. As 
with succulents, Germany has the largest market for species orchids. 

The bulb trade, which involves literally tens of millions of wild-collected plants each year, 
is centred on the Netherlands with most plants originating in Turkey, although significant 
numbers are also collected within EC countries, including Portugal. France, the Netherlands 
and the UK. Bulbs routed via the Netherlands are exported to overseas markets, chiefly in 
North America, as well as being sold within the EC. 

Significant trade in wild-collected plants also occurs in air plants (Tillandsia spp.). cycads 
and some carnivorous plants. 

Recommendations arising from the survey address: 

• the need to harmonise legislation within the EC; 

• the development of training programmes for enforcement officers; 

• the establishment of a nursery registration system for establishments dealing in CITES- 
listed plants; 

• the need to collect information on the status of wild plant populations still subject to 
direct exploitation; 

• a proposal to carry out a comprehensive review of plant listings under CITES and present 
and proposed EC wildlife trade legislation; 

• the encouragement of links between botanical gardens and the horticultural trade. 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



INTRODUCTION 

"If you want to be happy for a week, take a spouse; if you want to be happy 

for a month, kill a pig; if you want to be happy for life, make a garden". 

So runs an old Chinese proverb. The first two statements may be open to dispute, but more 
and more people are taking up the last of these suggestions. Gardening as an occupation has 
shown unprecedented growth in Europe over the past decade with, for example, over half the 
adult UK population now said to use garden centres. 

Meeting this demand has turned horticulture into big business within the EC. Europe has 
been a major centre for horticultural development and the plant trade for centuries. There has 
been a strong tradition of plant exploration — and some would say the plundering of plant 
resources — in the past linked with the processes of colonisation. Formerly the preserve of 
the wealthy, gardening for pleasure and the enjoyment of house plants are now available to 
all. To supply the expanding market, the Dutch plant and cut-flower trade, admittedly the 
biggest in the world, is now worth US$2.4 billion a year. The number of plants involved is 
enormous, with the Dutch alone producing, for example, a staggering one billion chrysanthe- 
mums each year. 

The horticultural trade is not, however, just about the production of millions of uniform 
plants — not only are more people gardening than ever before, but the depth of interest has 
intensified, with gardeners demanding an ever wider range of plants to grow. This is 
nowhere better exemplified than in the success of the Plantfinder books, now produced in 
the UK, France, Germany and Switzerland. The UK Plantfinder alone lists over 55,000 
plants commercially obtainable in nurseries in Britain and Ireland. 

Ultimately, all these garden plants can trace their ancestry back to the wild. Some have been 
so transformed by centuries of cultivation and hybridisation that their origin remains a matter 
of speculation. Others remain close in appearance to their original wild relatives. The great 
majority of garden plants are available in commerce as artificially propagated plants raised 
in nurseries by a variety of methods — from seed, by division, cuttings, layers, grafting or, 
increasingly, by sophisticated micropropagation or tissue culture techniques. A surprising 
number of plants, however, still find their way into cultivation directly from the wild. These 
are collected by amateurs for their own purposes or by collectors to supply the commercial 
trade. 

Most EC countries have legislation protecting native wild plants and commercial collection 
of attractive species is largely restricted. A wide range of horticultural plants is however 
imported from the wild from various countries around the worid — as are other wild plant 
products such as timber, aromatics, medicinal plants and herbs. This trade has significant 
implications for the management and conservation of wild plants and their habitats. 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



The scale of the trade in horticultural plants from the wild varies enormously from species 
to species, and so does its impact on wild populations. It may involve a mere handful of 
plants sold by a specialist, or it may involve millions of plants aimed at the mass market. 
One of the major problems with this trade is that it is largely unmanaged and unmonitored 
and it is therefore very difficult to assess its extent and the overall impact it has. However 
we do know that some of the trade is illegal, and much of it is damaging to wild plant 
populations, some of it extremely so. There are instances of plants having been driven 
virtually to extinction in the wild through the attentions of collectors. 

The difficulty for the gardener with a conscience lies in knowing which of the tens of 
thousands of plants commercially available may have been wild collected, and further in 
knowing which of these are under pressure in the wild. 

Why are wild plants collected for cultivation and international trade? 

Wild plants are brought into cultivation for a variety of reasons. First is the constant search 
for novelty — horticulturists have essentially two sources of new plants: they may produce 
them themselves — through raising hybrids or selecting particularly desirable sorts or forms 
of plants already in cultivation — or they may look to the wild. The heyday of collection of 
new plants for cultivation was in the late 19th and early 20th century but this activity still 
continues on a smaller scale and many admirable garden plants are quite recent arrivals in 
cultivation. There is for example growing interest in the bulb floras of South Africa and 
South America, with new species continually appearing in Europe. Responsible collection 
of small quantities of wild stock (preferably as seed or other propagules) for propagative 
purposes should do no harm to wild plant populations. Bulk collection of seed to supply the 
demand for wildflower seed is however a separate issue — and one which is causing 
increasing concern to conservationists. 

The second reason wild plants are grown in the gardens and greenhouses of Europe is the 
straightforward desire to own wild specimens, prevalent still amongst a small number of 
specialist collectors, especially of cacti and orchids. Wild-collected plants, of known source, 
are considered to have more allure and prestige than artificially propagated plants of the 
same species. Some amateur collectors have made an important contribution to the scientific 
study of plant groups. Others are motivated purely by the desire to own a complete 
collection with rare and hard-to-obtain species a particular attraction. Enthusiasts may 
derive particular pleasure from collecting plants themselves, but failing this they will pay 
premium prices to dealers for rarities even if artificially propagated plants of the same 
species are readily available. Newly discovered species in the wild are particularly vulner- 
able to collecting pressures. 

From a broader trade perspective, wild plants are brought into cultivation because well- 
established trade patterns and practices within the European market are slow to change. 
Where there has been a ready — and seemingly endless — wild source of suitable plants, 
such as the natural bulbfields of Turkey, with collectors, agents and transport arrangements 
in place, the trade has continued unquestioned until recent years. And no doubt the most 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



important reason why wild plants are traded is that more profit can be made from importing 
and selling wild plants of certain species than producing them in European nurseries. 

People who collect wild plants for the commercial trade are usually paid very low rates 
compared to the selling prices in European garden centres and nurseries. This income may 
nevertheless be an important supplement to peasant wages in Turkey, Madagascar or Mexico 
— a fact sometimes used to justify the wild plant trade. 

For plants entering the international market, important requirements are suitability as house 
and garden plants and ease and cost of transport. It is no coincidence that the majority of 
wild plants in trade are those which are resistant to desiccation and which can be easily 
transported in bulk and without soil. These include bulbs, corms and tubers, many orchids, 
cacti and other succulents. Because of their particular characteristics many of these species 
are well-suited to modem centrally-heated homes — a factor which accounts for their 
continuing popularity. In addition most of them are small, so that transport costs per 
individual plant are kept low. For the import of large plants to be economically viable, they 
must be able to command premium prices to cover transportation costs — as well as being 
able to withstand long periods out of the ground. Examples include cycads, some large 
succulents such as Yucca rostrata. and cacti such as the Saguaro Camegea gigantea and 
barrel cacti of the genera Ferocactus and Echinocactus. Specimen plants of this kind may 
fetch prices of hundreds, or even thousands, of pounds in European trade — mainly for 
display in atriums of corporate office buildings. 

For some species, wild-collection continues because artificial propagation is difficult or 
because plants take several years to reach saleable size, or often for both reasons. Maintain- 
ing stock in a nursery for long periods before sale is invariably expensive, and may often 
raise prices higher than consumers are prepared to pay. This is the case with the slow- 
growing 'air-plant' tillandsias and with many species which produce corms or tubers such as 
the wake-robins Trillium spp. and Arisaema species which may take seven or eight years to 
reach flowering size from seed. Many orchids are both difficult to propagate and take many 
years to reach flowering size. As a result, large numbers of species appear in trade as wild- 
collected plants. 

Demand also persists for wild plants of slow-growing species of cacti and other succulents. 
These are usually the more difficult species which appeal to specialist collectors, such as the 
Mexican cacti in the genera Anocarpu^, Aztekium or Pelecyphora. The majority of cacti and 
succulent species in trade are however easy to propagate and reach saleable size quite 
quickly, either under glass in the Netherlands and elsewhere in northern Europe or in open 
air nurseries in the Mediterranean region and the Canary Islands. For commonly propagated 
species there is no incentive to import wild plants. 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



The effects of wild collection on plants 

Plant species worldwide face an increasing barrage of threats to their survival. Chief 
amongst these is the destruction and degradation of their habitats by agriculture, industry or 
housing development, and pressures from pollution and climatic change. Introduced animals 
such as rabbits, goats and pigs have devastated island floras which evolved for millennia in 
the absence of grazing animals and thus had evolved no defences against them. In many 
countries introduced weeds — often introduced as consequence of trade in garden plants — 
have squeezed out less competitive native species. The World Conservation Monitoring 
Centre estimates that as many as 25,000 species, or 10% of the world's flora, are currently 
under some degree of threat. At least 650 plant species are recorded to have become extinct 
in historical times and many more are likely to have been lost before they were known to 
science, in botanically underexplored parts of the tropics. 

In comparison with these other threats, collecting for the horticultural trade might seem of 
minor importance, but this is often far from the case. While it is true that collection of plants 
such as common snowdrops, cyclamen and tillandsias is unlikely ever to result in the 
extinction of the species concerned, it may lead to their disappearing entirely from signifi- 
cant portions of their range. This results in the loss of valuable genetic resources which 
could be used in plant breeding as well as marked impoverishment of the environment. 
Large-scale trade may also inadvertently damage populations of much rarer, more vulner- 
able species, as occurred when corms of the rare Cyclamen mirabile were accidentally 
collected and included in consignments of the common Cyclamen coum exported from 
Turkey. 

However, it is the deliberate collection of rare plants which poses a far greater threat to wild 
plant species. Specialist collectors actively seek out the rare, the new and the exotic and are 
therefore often particularly attracted to plants which are naturally uncommon and localized. 
These are precisely the plants which are least capable of sustaining any heavy harvest from 
the wild — species as diverse as the Mexican cactus Ariocarpus agavoides. the South Indian 
lady's slipper orchid Paphiopedilum druryi and the giant pitcher plant Nepenthes rajah, all 
naturally localized species, have been driven to extinction or near extinction by avaricious 
collectors. 

Some growers delude themselves into thinking that they are playing a positive role in 
conservation by buying and attempting to grow wild plants of rare species, on the grounds 
that these plants were likely to be doomed in the wild. However this argument is often self- 
defeating as for the plants in question frequently the major threat is collection for trade! This 
is the case with many of the South-east Asian lady's slipper orchids which were plundered 
from national parks where their habitat was perfectly secure. Organized salvage can be a 
useful conservation measure, but the plants which appear in commercial trade are rarely a 
result of such activities. 

The artificial propagation and distribution in cultivation of threatened plants can certainly be 
a useful insurance policy in preventing species from becoming completely extinct. Indeed 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



several plants now widespread in cultivation, such as the North American Franklin Tree 
Franklinia alatamaha. the Vietnamese slipper orchid Paphiopedilum delenatii and the 
Chilean bulb Tecophilaea cyanocrocus, are now extinct or probably extinct in the wild. 
However it is surely always preferable to maintain species in the wild state if this can be 
done. This means placing as little pressure as possible on wild populations of rare and 
threatened species. 

If properly managed, wild plant populations could provide a sustainable .source of income 
and provide an incentive to maintain natural habitats. Unfortunately proven examples for the 
horticultural trade are difficult to find. 

Attempts to control the collection of plants 

The harmful effects of over-collection of wild plants have long been recognized. As early 
as 1911 the Swiss canton of Zug enacted legislation banning the collection of some spectacu- 
lar alpine plants such as lilies and edelweiss. Germany has had similar legislation since 
1936, while Mexico has banned the export of native wild plants for over fifty years. Other 
countries have been slower to follow suit but many have passed laws in the last ten or fifteen 
years to protect at least some of their flora. 

Most of this legislation prohibits the uprooting or destruction of particular species of wild 
plant but some of it extends as far as banning the picking of flowers. Lack of awareness and 
indifference to the laws hinder implementation and it is usually difficult to prevent land- 
owners from digging up or destroying plants on their land. Nevertheless national measures 
can be reinforced by international cooperation particularly where species are under threat 
because of international commercial demand. 

CITES 

The principal means through which international trade in plants is controlled is the Conven- 
tion on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), 
sometimes known as the Washington Convention. This convention first came into force in 
1976 and has now grown to become one of the largest and best known of all conservation 
conventions, with 116 member states (in October 1992). Its aim is to regulate trade in 
threatened wild animal and plant species and the method by which it sets out to do this is to 
list such species in three appendices. Species listed in Appendix I of CITES are considered 
severely threatened by trade and all commercial trade in wild specimens between countries 
who are members of the convention is banned although import and export for scientific 
purposes may be permitted. Species listed in Appendix II of the Convention are those which 
may be threatened by excessive levels of trade without appropriate regulation. Species may 
also be included in Appendix II because of their similarity to more threatened species, as an 
aid to enforcement. Commercial trade in wild specimens of Appendix-II species is permitted 
under the convention but is controlled and monitored through a licensing system. Appendix 
III is used by countries which may want to control trade in particular members of their own 
flora and fauna which are not listed on the other Appendices. 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



Plant and animal species are added to or removed from the various Appendices by agreement 
of the member states. Normally these changes are made at the Conference of the Parties 
which is held every two years, but changes may also be made through postal votes between 
the meetings. 

Details of the plants listed in the Appendices are given in Annex I. At present some 200 
plant species are listed in Appendix 1 of CITES. Although there are some timber species, 
such as the South American Alerce Fitzroya cupressoides, the great majority of them are 
plants which may be under threat from collecting for horticulture — mostly orchids, cacti 
and cycads. 

A far larger number of species is listed in Appendix II of CITES although no-one can say 
exactly how many. This is because the entire orchid family is listed in the Appendix and 
botanists cannot agree how many species there are in this, the largest of all plant families. 
Estimates vary from 17,000 to 25,000. Other families listed in their entirety include the 
cactus family, two families of cycads and two of tree ferns although all these are much 
smaller than the orchid family. 

Enforcement of CITES 

CITES was originally developed mainly with animals in mind and enforcement of the 
Convention for plants has sometimes proved problematic. A major problem is that of 
identification. Very few customs officers or other enforcement agents have specialist 
botanical training and even with such training it may be very difficult for them to distinguish, 
say, an Appendix-I listed orchid from one listed in Appendix II. In many ways a greater 
problem, however, is the existence in international trade of, literEdly, tens of millions of 
artificially propagated plants of both non-CITES and CITES-listed species, including large 
numbers of those in Appendix I. This trade is perfectly legitimate and is not harmful to wild 
populations of the plants concerned. Indeed it may be positively beneficial in helping to 
stem demand for wild plants. Allowing this trade to continue in as unhampered a way as 
possible, while at the same time keeping tight control on the trade in wild plants has often 
proved a difficult balancing act. 

Several efforts have been made to streamline the operation of CITES. Seeds, tissue cultures, 
and flasked seedlings are, for example, exempt from CITES Appendix II controls for most 
Usted species, as are cut flowers of artificially propagated orchids. Additionally, in many 
countries artificially propagated Appendix-II plants are effectively treated as if they were not 
covered by CITES. This allows legitimate traders to carry out their business, but also leaves 
the system open to abu.se as it is easy to mis-declare wild-collected plants as artificially 
propagated. 

Whether it is by covert smuggling in suitcases or through the post, or through mis-declara- 
tion of openly imported shipments, there is no doubt that it is still possible, and sometimes 
relatively easy, to import wild plants in contravention of CITES. Surveys conducted by 
TRAFFIC in Europe and Japan in the past few years have revealed the widespread and often 
open availability of Appendix-I hsted wild plants in nurseries. 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



With limited manpower, enforcement officers cannot hope to inspect all shipments of plants 
in detail and thus wild-collected plants can slip through. Even if shipments are inspected, it 
takes a practised eye to unequivocally distinguish wild-collected from artificially propagated 
plants. Thankfully, interest in plant trade issues has increased considerably in recent years. 
A major result of this has been the employment of a full-time plant trade officer at the CITES 
Secretariat (the Convention's coordinating body) which has done much to increase the level 
of awareness of plants in trade among those responsible for controlling wildlife shipments. 

While enforcement, both within Europe and in many countries of origin, has improved 
considerably in the past four or five years, it is only through changing demand that illegal 
and unsustainable trade will ever be stopped. This means that active consumer choices can 
have a direct effect on the conservation of rare plants. There are encouraging signs that these 
changes are already occurring as more and more specialist collectors refuse to buy wild- 
collected plants. 

EC CITES Regulation 

In EC countries, CITES controls are implemented by means of Council Regulation 3626/82, 
which came into force on 1 January 1984. This Regulation goes beyond the basic require- 
ments of CITES by imposing the necessity for import, as well as export permits, for CITES 
Appendices II and III species brought into the Community. Furthermore it imposes stricter 
conditions for the import of certain Appendix-II species than would be required under the 
Convention. Under the Regulation all orchid and cyclamen species native to EC countries 
are treated as if they were listed in Appendix I of CITES. Intra-community trade in these 
species and all Appendix-I plants is generally prohibited, unless specifically allowed under 
license. 

As both a major consumer of wild plants for horticulture and a major producer of artificially 
propagated CITES species for export, it is important that the EC has effective means to 
implement the Convention. Inconsistencies remain in enforcement provisions, with some 
countries operating very lax controls on the plant trade. 

In order to improve implementation the EC CITES Regulation has been subject to extensive 
review and a revised version has been prepared. The proposed replacement for Regulation 
3626/82, is being considered by each Member State. Initially the revised Regulation was 
planned to enter into force on 1 January 1993, to coincide with the formal completion of the 
single European market, but entry into force in mid- 1 993 at the earUest is a more realistic 
estimate. 

It is proposed that when the new EC legislation comes into force, as well as all CITES-listed 
species, a significant number of other plant species will also be subject to trade controls. The 
strictest degree of control is for example proposed for eleven Narcissus spp., ten other bulb 
species, a range of ferns, alpine plants and European rarities. A new provision of the 
legislation would be to introduce a list of plants (and animals) for which import into the EC 
would be monitored through a declaration system, without a specific requirement for export 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



documentation. The intention is to build up a clearer picture of the quantities of listed 
species entering the Community to provide an early warning system of potential trade 
threats. Bulbs, succulents, carnivorous plants and timber species are included in the pro- 
posed list. 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



SPECIES REVIEWS 

The following sections review trade in orchids, bulbs, cycads, palms and tree ferns, cacti and 
other succulent plants, carnivorous plants and air plants. These are the groups for which we 
know there is significant international trade in Europe in wild plants. Trade, or at least 
collection from the wild, certainly occurs in other groups such as water plants and alpines. 
Very little is known about this trade, although most of it appears to be on a local, amateur or 
semi-amateur basis rather than as an organised professional enterprise. 

For the groups we have covered, as well as outlining the trade, we have given some pointers 
to help would-be purchasers to decide what the likelihood of a given plant being wild- 
collected is, and, if so, whether they are likely to be damaging wild populations by buying 
it. In general, we have advised against buying wild-collected plants as there are as yet too 
few cases where sustainable harvest from the wild can be demonstrated. In the case of 
CITES Appendix-I listed plants, we have emphasised as strongly as possible the importance 
of not buying wild-collected plants. Not only will these have been illegally imported, but 
buying them will be driving an already threatened species closer to extinction. 

ORCHIDS 

Orchids are widely considered to be the aristocrats of the plant world. 
This enormous, cosmopolitan, group, by far the largest of all plant 
families, contains an astonishing diversity of plants whose spectacular, 
sometimes almost sinister, beauty and exotic aura have long beguiled 
laymen and experts alike. Their cultivation, until recently, has been seen 
as the preserve of the specialist, with orchid growers themselves having 
almost as exotic a reputation as the plants they grow. 

Tropical orchids 

Exotic orchids have been grown in Europe since the 17th century, although large-scale 
cultivation did not begin until the I9th century. The latter half of the 19th century was a 
period of intense activity in orchid growing in Europe, particularly in the United Kingdom 
where it was concentrated, and enormous quantities of wild plants were collected for import 
by the major firms of the day, many of whom had professional collectors operating in various 
parts of the tropics. Rivalry between collectors and firms was often intense, and the trade 
was fuelled by an apparently insatiable demand for new species and varieties, which 
continued to be discovered in large numbers. By the early part of the twentieth century, 
many of the more accessible sites for orchids had been virtually collected out, and the supply 
of novelties largely dried up. 

Nowadays the vast majority of orchids grown in Europe are hybrids, artificially propagated 
in massive numbers under laboratory conditions and grown on in greenhouses. Most of 
these are destined for the cut-flower trade, but increasingly plants are offered for sale in 
florists, garden-centres and supermarkets. There has been a realisation that many orchids are 




11 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



no harder to grow in the home than other house plants, and mass-production is bringing 
prices down to an affordable level. 

Nevertheless there still remains a flourishing specialist market for orchids, with many 
thousand amateur orchid collectors in Europe, a small minority of whom are prepared to go 
to almost any lengths to obtain particularly desirable plants. A large proportion of orchid 
collectors grow mainly hybrids, but many include some species or 'botanical' orchids, as 
they are commonly known, in their collections, and a number specialise in these. This 
market still supports an extensive trade in wild-collected plants, most of them originating in 
Central and South America, Southeast Asia, India and Madagascar. 

Like all hobbies, orchid-growing is susceptible to the vagaries of fashion, and groups of 
plants change in their popularity. Often the production of a major monograph on a particular 
group of orchids, or orchids from one country, will stimulate interest in those species and 
encourage collectors to set off in pursuit of the plants in the wild. Sometimes it is the 
discovery of new species which triggers off renewed interest in a particular group. This was 
the case with the South-east Asian lady's slipper orchids Paphiopedihim. 

There are between 60 and 70 species of Paphiopedihim scattered through eastern Asia from 
south India as far as New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Many of the species are very 
localized, often occurring on only a few limestone outcrops in jungle areas. Paphiopedilum 
orchids have been ardently collected for over 150 years. Indeed at the turn of the century 
they were the most popular of all orchid genera in Europe. Their popularity subsequently 
waned, but they nevertheless remained widely cultivated both as species and as hybrids. In 
the 1960s a new species, P. siikhakuUi. was discovered in Thailand. Its import into Europe 
in vast quantities — all wild collected — led to the entire genus suddenly becoming 
fashionable in collections once again. The discovery of P. siikhakulii was followed by that 
of a number of other new species, sustaining the interest of collectors and fuelling the trade 
in wild-collected plants. A particularly telling example of the destructiveness of this trade 
was not in fact a new discovery, but rather the rediscovery of a species feared extinct. This 
was the small, pretty Paphiopedihim druryi from southern India which had not been seen in 
the wild for many decades. In 1972 a new colony was discovered; almost immediately 
commercial collectors descended and over 3000 plants were stripped from the site, effec- 
tively wiping out the colony. When Indian officials visited the site a few years later, they 
could find only three plants, which they took into safe keeping, with the result that the 
species apparently became extinct once more in the wild. Since then the species has been 
rediscovered yet again but its existence in the wild remains precarious and it is permanently 
vulnerable to unscrupulous collectors. 

These discoveries kept attention focused on the genus, but Paphiopedihim did not truly gain 
centre stage in the orchid world until the 1 980s when a series of sensational new discoveries 
was made in south-west China, including the bright yellow Paphiopedihim armeniacum and 
the huge-flowered pink and white P. micranrhum. The demand for these new plants was 
intense, and enormous numbers were exported from China, mostly via Hong Kong, to feed 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



the markets in Europe, North America and Japan. All the plants were wild-collected and it 
seemed very unlikely that the wild populations could cope with this level of offtake. 

It was not just these new species which suffered from the attentions of orchid hunters. 
Several well known species, particularly in Borneo, have had populations ravaged despite 
the best attempts of governments to protect them. These include the fabled Paphiopedilum 
rothschildianum, the most spectacular of all slipper orchids, known only from Mt Kinabalu 
National Park in Sabah, and the extraordinary Paphiopedilum sanderianum from Gunung 
Mulu National Park in Sarawak, which has twisted ribbon-like petals which may reach 90 cm 
in length. Plants of the former, stolen from the park, were offered for sale in the USA. for 
a staggering $5000 apiece in the late 1980s. P. sanderianum had not been recorded since the 
19th century before the 1980s when it was rediscovered by botanists working in Sarawak. 
Unfortunately a team of persistent commercial collectors discovered the location of the wild 
populations and in 1986 plants turned up on the American market priced at $1,500 per 
growth. 

Although most Paphiopedilum plants are worth far less than this, these prices demonstrate 
just how much fanatical hobbyists are prepared to pay for exceptional plants and the strong 
incentives for collectors to break the law. There are even tales of collectors destroying wild 
plants surplus to their own requirements to prevent rivals obtaining them. 

In an attempt to control this increasingly damaging trade, the entire genus Paphiopedilum 
was placed on Appendix I of CITES in January 1990. This has certainly helped to cut down 
the trade, but has by no means eliminated it. In 1991 the TRAFFIC investigation discovered 
a consignment of 500 wild-collected Philippines Paphiopedilum species, including the rare 
P. haynaldiamim. on sale in a French nursery. Ironically, this was the very nursery which 
had played an instrumental part in the 1920s in ensuring the survival in cultivation of the 
Vietnamese P. delenatii, a species believed possibly extinct in the wild. 

A similar, though less marked phenomenon, occurred with the closely-related South Ameri- 
can slipper orchids in the genus Phragmipedium. In the late 1970s a remarkable new 
species, Phragmipedium besseae, with beautiful orange-red flowers was discovered in 
Ecuador. Large numbers of wild-collected plants quickly found their way onto the market, 
fetching high sums. Again concern was felt that wild populations of this and some of the 
other rare Phragmipedium species could not support such indiscriminate harvest and to 
safeguard them, the entire genus was placed on Appendix I of CITES, also in 1990. 

Interestingly the discovery of P. besseae does not appear to have sparked off a resurgence in 
interest in Europe in the other Phragmipedium species to the same extent as has happened 
with Paphiopedilum. In general they are relatively little grown here although they remain 
popular in the USA. P. besseae itself is definitely still much in demand and although most 
specimens were imported before the CITES ban came into effect, wild plants are still — 
illegally — entering Europe to the detriment of wild populations. 



13 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



Other groups which are popular at present include the South and Central American 
MasdevaUias and their allies and the New Guinea species of the genus Dendrobiwn. one of 
the largest of all orchid genera. The former are small to medium-sized plants which require 
rather different growing conditions from the majority of orchids. Collectors who grow them 
tend to specialize in them and attempt to acquire as many species as possible. Some dealers 
offer as many as 50 species, many of them as wild imports. One species, Dracula vampira. 
with bizarre, pendant flowers, is one of the most sought-after of all orchids at present, and 
is almost certainly imported from the wild to meet the demand. Unfortunately there is very 
little information on the status of most of these species in the wild, and so it is difficult to tell 
what impact the trade is having on wild populations. 

Much of the trade in wild plants is still permitted under CITES, but an increasing number of 
countries have banned all commercial export of wild-collected orchids under their own 
national legislation. These include India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Costa 
Rica, Honduras and Peru. 

Until 1991, Thailand was by far the largest supplier to Europe of wild-collected orchids, 
many of them originating in neighbouring countries and a considerable proportion illegally 
collected. In 1991, however, as a result of the continuing trade in illegal wildlife from 
Thailand and partially as a result of a TRAFFIC investigation, it was recommended by the 
CITES Standing Committee (the Convention's executive body) that member countries ban 
import of all CITES-listed species from Thailand. This led to a surge of imports of orchids 
from Thailand before the ban was imposed — one Dutch nursery alone reputedly imported 
20,000 plants in one consignment in spring 1991. The international ban on Thai wildhfe 
products was lifted in 1992 following the introduction of national legislation. In order to 
control the orchid trade the import or export from Thailand of orchid species is forbidden, 
except under permit, and artificially propagated plants must be produced in registered 
nurseries. 

In general, the increasing difficulty of obtaining wild-collected plants legitimately has 
induced more and more orchid nurserymen to start artificially propagating their own stock. 
Artificial propagation of orchids can be a time-consuming and complex affair, especially 
raising from seed, which generally requires sterile laboratory conditions. For some species, 
such as many paphiopedilums, the seed pod may take as long as eighteen months to ripen and 
the plants may not flower until six or seven years after germination. All this helps to explain 
why wild-collected plants have remained in demand — it is far cheaper to import mature, 
flowering-sized plants from the wild than it is to grow up plants for sale. However, even if 
conservation arguments are disregarded, the growing of wild plants has its drawbacks — 
mortality rates amongst imported plants are often very high and even if plants do survive 
they will often take many months or even years to recover from the shock of transplanting 
and long-distance transport and begin growth. Furthermore, they often simply do not grow 
as well in cultivation as artificially propagated stock does. 



14 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



As artificial propagation of orchid species becomes more widespread, plants will become 
cheaper to buy — indeed some conservation-minded nurserymen have the intention of 
flooding the market with cheap seedlings of rare species, thereby undercutting the demand 
for wild imports. It is now possible to buy seedlings of Paphiopedilum rothschildianum for 
£ 1 0-£ 1 2 and one enterprising UK firm offers seedlings in flasks of around 40 Paphiopedilum 
species, including many of the rarest. These require some patience on the part of the 
purchaser to grow on to flowering size, but are ultimately arguably far more rewarding than 
wild plants. In an effort to encourage the trend to artificially propagated plants, the European 
Orchid Committee has produced a catalogue of orchid species which can be obtained as 
nursery-raised stock (Beguin, 1992). 

Hardy orchids 

With the burgeoning interest in wild-flower gardening, hardy orchid species have become 
popular and desirable plants with collectors. Unfortunately, artificial propagation of these 
species has often proved difficult and has not kept pace with the demand. A large proportion 
of plants in cultivation have, at least until very recently, been of wild origin. In the UK 
wardening schemes are necessary to protect rare and attractive orchids within nature re- 
serves. Nevertheless thefts continue, driven by commercial demand. In one recent case 100 
green winged orchids Orchis morio were stolen overnight from a reserve. Hardy orchids are 
also imported from eastern European countries. North America and temperate Asia. 

Pre-eminent amongst them are the Lady's Slipper Orchids in the genus Cypripedium. closely 
related to the tropical slipper orchids in the genera Paphiopedilum. Phrugmipedium and 
Selenipedium. There are around thirty-five members of the genus, of which the most famous 
in Europe is undoubtedly the native Cypripedium calceolus. This beautiful plant, which is 
found across the Northern Hemisphere in Europe, Asia and North America, has been coveted 
by gardeners since Victorian times, much to the detriment of wild populations — the Bntish 
population has been reduced to a mere handful of plants, whose precise location is a closely- 
guarded secret. Cypripedium calceolus is extinct in Belgium and Luxembourg and is 
considered to be Vulnerable throughout Europe. 

Cypripedium calceolus. like other temperate slipper orchids, is difficult to propagate artifi- 
cially, and is not easy to maintain in cultivation. There is thus a continuing demand for wild 
plants which continue to be dug up. both by amateurs for their own collections, and by 
commercial dealers, despite it bemg legally protected in most of Europe by national legisla- 
tion and, along with all other native orchid species, receiving special protection under the 
EEC wildlife trade regulation. Collectors are now turning their attentions to the eastern 
European countries — in 1990 it was reported that large colonies of the orchid in Czecho- 
slovakia, previously protected through being in military areas, had been destroyed almost 
overnight. 

Other species which are relatively widely available include the Asian species Cypripedium 
japonicum (often sold as C. formosanum) and C macranthum, the North American Mocca- 
sin Flower C. acaule and the Queen Lady's Slipper C. reginae. The first of these is 



15 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



apparently artificially propagated in quite large numbers in the Far East, although it is likely 
that wild plants enter trade. The North American species have been imported into Europe in 
substantial quantities, almost entirely as wild-collected plants. In 1991, a British dealer was 
fined £200 for importing a consignment of North American slipper orchids and wake robins 
Trillium spp. without a license and in 1990 a large consignment of illegally imported Asian 
Cypripedium species was seized in Germany. 

The Cypripedium species which occur most frequently in trade are in general still quite 
widespread and not imminently threatened with extinction, although some of them, such as 
Cypripedium calceolus may be seriously reduced in a large part of their range. There are 
several other species, however, in North America and Asia which are apparently rare and 
localised. These species are assiduously sought-after by specialists and collection of plants 
is likely to be having a serious effect on wild populations. Some of these species may even 
have been inadvertently collected for export, being mistaken for commoner forms: the 
German consignment seized in 1990 turned out to include plants of C.farreri which had not 
been seen in cultivation for decades. 

Lady's Slipper Orchids are by no means the only hardy orchids sold in Europe. The most 
widely-available and cheapest species is the easy-to-grow Bleiilla striaia from China and 
Japan which is imported in large numbers from the Far East. This plant is easy to propagate, 
and most of the plants offered for sale are artificialFy propagated, although some concern has 
been expressed that wild plants are entering the market. Also popular, although more 
doubtfully hardy, are the Asian orchids in the genus Pleione. These grow quite rapidly and 
are also relatively easily propagated by seed or by division. Again most of the plants sold 
are nursery-raised, although there is believed to be some collection of wild plants for export. 
There is also a strong specialist interest in pleiones and some of the rarer species have 
definitely appeared in the trade as wild-collected plants. 

Many of the other hardy orchids are notoriously difficult to grow in cultivation. These 
include the European Ophrys species with their jewel-like insect-mimicking flowers and the 
Lizard Orchid Himantoglossum hircinum. Plants dug up from the wild, either by amateurs 
for their own gardens, or by commercial suppliers, are almost invariably doomed to a short 
life in cultivation. Rather easier are some species of Dactylorhiza and Orchis. Several of 
these are now fairly widespread as garden plants and can be quite readily bought as nursery 
grown stock. 

• In general, exotic orchids for sale in garden centres and high street shops are nursery- 
raised hybrids. 

• A significant proportion of the botanical orchids offered for sale by specialist nurseries 
are wild-collected. Wherever possible encourage nursery propagation by requesting 
propagated plants. 

• Never buy wild plants of CITES Appendix-I orchids. 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



• Attractive hardy European orchids have declined through habitat destruction and over- 
collection. They are protected by law in most EC countries and are given strict protection 
under the EC CITES Regulation. Never dig up wild species and don't buy native species 
unless you are assured that these are artificially propagated. 



17 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 




BULBS 

At the end of summer, choosing bulbs for spring planting, is a most 
pleasurable activity. But for gardeners with a green conscience a degree 
of caution is necessary. Most bulbs available in trade are produced in the 
extensive bulb fields of the Netherlands. Other EEC countries produce 
bulbs on a smaller scale, for example France, which has around 350 
commercial bulb growers, and the UK which is the world leader in 
daffodil production. Some bulbs are, however, routinely collected from the wild for sale in 
garden centres, supermarkets and plant catalogues throughout Europe. 

The trade in wild bulbs has been largely hidden until recent years. Because of the complex 
chain from source to retail outlet few people realised that the bulbs they were buying or 
selling had been dug up from their natural habitats. Recent research by conservation 
organisations, including TRAFFIC, WWF, the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the 
Flora and Fauna Preservation Society and Plantlife has revealed the true picture. 

The main source of wild bulbs is Turkey. Every year millions of cyclamen, snowdrops, 
snowflakes, anemones and other bulbs are harvested from Turkey's rich natural bulb fields 
and exported to the Netherlands, the centre of the world's bulb trade, for packaging and 
distribution. The scale of the trade has worried Turkish botanists and a number of bulb 
species are now listed in the Turkish Red Data List. 

International concern about the cyclamen trade led to the listing of this genus on Appendix 
II of CITES when the Convention first came into being. The EC has stricter import 
requirements under its CITES Regulation and there is now a quota system for cyclamen 
exported from Turkey. The UK-based Cyclamen Society advises its members not to buy 
wild cyclamen at all. The Society has been particularly concerned about the occurrence of 
tubers of rare species such as Cyclamen mirabile mixed in with consignments of more 
common species. The true identity of the plants is only revealed when they fiower. 

Snowdrops Galanthus, and the crocus-like Sternbergia were added to CITES Appendix II in 
1989. The most commonly cultivated snowdrop Galanthus nivalis occurs throughout 
Europe as a wild or naturalised plant. It was first introduced to the UK in Roman times. 
Now most of the plants in trade originate in the Loire valley in France, the Texel region of 
the Netherlands, Turkey and the UK. Most of the bulbs are harvested from semi-natural 
habitats such as old orchards or from wild populations in Turkey. Cultivation is. however, 
slowly increasing. 

The main snowdrop species exported by Turkey is Galanthus elwesii. Around 15 million 
bulbs of G. elwesii are imported to the Netherlands from Turkey each year. Even though the 
species is quite widespread it is markedly affected by this scale of trade and in some areas 
populations have virtually disappeared. Cultivation has begun in Turkey, but so far this 
mainly consists of re-planting wild bulbs in fields and growing them on. Production of this 
bulb in the Netheriands remains tiny by comparison with imports from the wild. 



18 



Galanthus elwesii 



DID YOU KNOW? • Millions of wild 
snowdrops from Turkey and wild air plants 
from Guatemala are sold in Europe each 
year. • Most of the Venus fly-traps on 
sale in Europe were removed from the 
wild in the USA. • Collectors will pay thousands of 
dollars for a single wild plant of some orchid species. 




Trillium erectum 




Gardening is one of the most popular and widespread of 
all pastimes and gardeners in Europe grow an enormous 
and ever-expanding range of plants. The great majority 
of plants available in commerce are artificially 
W propagated in nurseries. However, a 

surprising number still find their way into 
^ cultivation direct from the wild. This trade, 

along with that in other wild products such as timber, 
aromatics, medicinal plants and herbs, has significant 
implications for the management and 
conservation of wild plants and their 
habitats. Collection for commercial trade 
adds to the barrage of threats faced 
by wild plants around the world. 



Cyclamen sp 





Dionaea muscipula 



Commonly available plants which may have 



been w/ild -collected include a variety of bulbs, 



corms and tubers, air plants and Venus 



fly-traps. On the Continent, a range of 



cycads, cacti and other succulents also 



opedilum micranthum 




appear in garden centres and other retail outlets. In the 
specialist trade, a much wider range of wild plants, 
especially orchids, cacti and succulents, is available. 
• While collection of common and wide- 
spread plants is unlikely ever to result in 
the extinction of the species concerned, 
it may still lead to their disappearing 
entirely from significant portions of their 

range. This would result in a marked 

impoverishment of the environment as well as 
the loss of valuable genetic resources which 
could be used in plant breeding. • However, it is 

the deliberate collection of rare plants which poses 
a far greater threat to wild plant species. Specialist 
collectors actively seek out the rare, the new and 
the exotic and are therefore often particularly 



Anocarpus agavoides 




Nepenthes rajah 





Narcissus triandrus 



^ attracted to uncommon, localised plants. 
These are precisely the ones which are 
^P least capable of sustaining any heavy 
harvest from the wild. Species as diverse as the 
Mexican living rock cactus /Ar/ocarpus agavoides, 
the South Indian lady's slipper orchid Paphiopedilum 
druryi and the giant pitcher plant Nepenthes rajah, all 
naturally localised species, have been driven to the brink of 
extinction by avaricious collectors. 
Collectors will go to great lengths - and 
pay enormous prices - to obtain 
desirable plants. • Many countries now 
have legislation designed to protect 

Echinocacius grusonu 

wild plants. Most of this legislation prohibits the uprooting 
or destruction of particular species and some extends as 
far as banning the picking of flowers. Unfortunately, lack 




^BiS< 


*9^3P^ 


*^a[ 


P^ 


n^^^ 


* ;>'->'-^te 


lB^j|E 


ji^tj 


E 




i^ 


Mm 


^R 


• '"^ ' ■'■ ^Sl 


^n 








HP 


WM 


PP 






f^sis 



Paphiopedilum armeniacui 



of awareness and indifference to the laws 



undermines their effectiveness. Nevertheless, 



national measures can be reinforced by inter- 



national cooperation - particularly in relation 



to commercial trade threats. 




Sarracenia sp. 



The principal means through which international trade in 
plants is controlled is the Convention on International Trade 
in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora - CITES. 
Its aim is to restrict or regulate trade in the threatened wild 
animal and plant species listed under the Convention. 
Species in Appendix I of the Convention are subject to 
particularly strict control; whereas those in Appendix II 
can be more freely traded. • In EC countries, CITES 
controls are implemented by means of Council Regulation 
3626/82, which came into force in 1984. This Regulation is 
more strict than CITES in some respects and, for example, 
imposes a ban on commercial trade in all wild orchid 
and cyclamen species native to the EC. The Regulation is 
currently being revised and is likely to control a wider 
range of horticultural plants in the future. • While 
enforcement both within Europe and in many countries of 
origin has improved considerably in the past four or five 
years, it is only through changing demand that this trade 
will ever be stopped. This means that consumer choice 
can have a direct effect on the conservation of rare plants. 



Wild Plants in Trade - A TRAFFIC Network Report. TRAFFIC. 219c Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 ODL 
Ptiotographs © Arnold van Kreveld/WWF-NL & Royal Botanic Gardens. Kew 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



The Turkish Government attempts to control the export of its bulbs by a system of quotas and 
bans on trade in rarer species, but commercial pressures are strong. The quota system has 
reduced export of Galantlms elwesii from over 30 million a year to 15 million. However, 
Turkey is not yet a member of CITES and this hinders international efforts to control the bulb 
trade. Nevertheless help is at hand locally to transform the trade. FFPS is running the 
Indigenous Propagation Project in conjunction with the Turkish Society for the Conservation 
of Nature and with funding from WWF. This project encourages pillagers to grow bulbs on 
their own land for export so that they continue to receive a source of income without 
depleting wild populations. There is also a |oint Dutch-Turkish trade project which should 
help regulate the trade. 

Another source of wild bulbs is Portugal. Miniature daffodil species which are justifiably 
popular with gardeners are unfortunately supplied from the wild in Portugal. It is a sad 
reality that virtually all the small narcissi available from European suppliers are wild- 
collected and are harvested without management of the natural resource. There are no legal 
restrictions on collection except within protected areas and bulbs are known to have been 
taken from nature reserves. Around 200,000 wild bulbs oi Narcissus triandrus var. triandrm, 
known in trade as 'Angel's Tears', are imported to the UK and the Netherlands from 
Portugal every year along with smaller numbers of other species and varieties. As a result 
of commercial collection and habitat destruction, ten taxa of Narcissus are considered to be 
threatened in Portugal and in need of legal protection. As yet there are no international trade 
controls to aid their survival but inclusion in the revised EEC wildlife trade regulation is 
proposed under conditions which would allow control of trade within the Community. 

Wild bulbs are exported by a range of other countries including Hungary, Japan, UK and the 
USA. Trillium is the main genus exported by the USA. Although not strictly producing 
bulbs, trilliums are usually to be found in the bulb sections of garden centres and are listed 
in bulb catalogues. In the USA, trilliums, known as wake-robins, are amongst the most 
popular woodland wildflowers. Wild-collected rhizomes are offered for sale by roadside 
vendors and by nurseries and garden centres. Over 10,000 wild plants of Trillium spp. are 
exported from the USA to the Netherlands each year. Some UK nurseries propagate the 
trilliums they offer for sale but many also buy in plants from the Netherlands and USA. 
These are almost certainly wild-collected. 

Collection of bulbs from natural habitats in the UK is known to occur but details remain 
hazy. The UK's native bulb flora consists of around 50 species many of which are 
naturalised or occur locally as garden escapes. Commercial collection concentrates on 
snowdrops Galunthus nivalis and bluebells Hyacinthoides non-scripta. both for the UK 
market and for export. The organisation Plantlife has been researching this trade recently 
and has found it to be much more extensive than first thought, forming a traditional source 
of rural income which may amount to £1 — £2 million annually. Commercial bluebell 
diggers can strip entire woods and the bluebell populations may take decades to recover. 
Plantlife advises landowners to refuse permission when approached by bulb diggers and 
advises gardeners to check the origin of bluebells on sale. If the bulbs have not been 



19 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



collected from the wild this will usually be specified as a good selling point because nursery- 
raised bluebells are more vigorous, with erect stems and a slightly stronger flower colour. 

Recognising whether or not bulbs on sale have been dug from the wild is becoming easier 
under a new labelling scheme introduced in the Netherlands. Since July 1990, all wild- 
collected bulbs sold by Dutch companies have been labelled as, "bulbs from wild source". 
Beginning in July 1992, all mmor bulbs, that is all except the major field crops such as 
daffodils, tulip and hyacinths are labelled as either wild or cultivated. By 1995 all bulbs sold 
by Dutch companies will be labelled. This scheme has not yet been introduced in other 
countries but clearly needs to be expanded internationally. 

In general it is not a good idea to buy wild bulbs when cultivated alternatives are available. 
Some growers are making great efforts to propagate rare and unusual species and their 
efforts are undermmed by the import of cheaper wild-collected material. Collection from the 
wild is rarely adequately managed and places an unnecessary strain on wild populations. 
Furthermore cultivated bulbs provide better quality garden plants. When choosmg bulbs 
remember: 

• Most commercially available bulbs have been grown in nurseries or as field crops but if 
collected from the wild should be avoided. 

• The following bulbs are likely to be wild-collected, so check the labelling and ask about 
the origin before you buy: Anemone blanda, Ahsaeina. Corydalis bulbosa. Cyclamen, 
Eranthis, Galanthus, Leucojum. Slembergia, Trillium, miniature daffodils, bluebells. 

• International trade in Cyclamen, Galanthus and Stembergia is subject to CITES regu- 
lations. 

• Most attractive species of bulbs are declining in the wild because of habitat destruction 
and rare species may be protected by national legislation. Don't dig from the wild. 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 




CYCADS, PALMS AND TREE FERNS 

Cycads. palms and tree ferns offer a fascination and a challenge to the 
serious gardener. Few species are hardy in northern Europe and these 
plants are more usually associated with the elegant palm houses of 
botanic gardens. Nevertheless there is a growing collector interest within 
Europe and an increasing range of species is offered commercially. 

Cycads, sometimes considered the dinosaurs of the plant world through having remained 
largely unchanged for tens of millions of years, are slow-growing relatives of the conifers. 
There are eleven genera with about 130 species of cycads found in Africa, Asia, Australia, 
the Western Pacific Islands. Florida, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Many 
species have low reproductive rates in the wild and limited natural distributions. 

The consequences of habitat destruction and collecting pressures have been disastrous for 
cycads and over 50 species are Endangered or Vulnerable according to lUCN (The World 
Conservation Union) definitions. All cycads are covered by CITES controls but collecting 
pressures remain intense and smuggling of plants is known to take place. 

Endangered plants of South African Etwephalartos cycads in particular are immensely 
valuable on the world market and have been used as a means of smuggling financial 
resources out of the country. The conservation status of many species in the wild is now 
dismal. The last viable population of Encephalartos dolomitkus was for example collected 
to extinction during 1989. Fewer than twenty plants remain and there is no natural propa- 
gation. Other species endangered by collecting include E. eugene-maraisii, E. 
middelburgensis, E. dyeriamts and £. ciipidiis. 

Within Europe the cycad most commonly available is Cycas revoluta. Plants are nursery- 
raised from seed and are available as seedlings and pot plants. Larger specimen plants are 
imported from outside Europe, for example from Brazil, where they are reportedly collected 
from old estates. Species of Lepidozamia. Macrozamia, Dioon. Encephalartos and Zamia 
along with Cycas circinalis are relatively widely available, although in small quantities. The 
TRAFFIC Europe investigation of European nurseries showed that all Lepidozamia and 
Macrozamia appear to be artificially propagated but that some wild plants of Zamia and 
Dioon are offered for sale. Wild collected plants of Encephalartos are also sold in Italy and 
France, despite the fact that this genus is included in Appendix I of CITES. 

Another group of plants grown mainly for their foliage is the palms. Like cycads. which they 
superficially resemble, palms are gaining in popularity throughout Europe. They provide 
fashionable corporate decor in new office blocks. Palms are readily grown from seed and 
nurseries mainly in the Netherlands, Spain and further afield in Malaysia and Sri Lanka, are 
increasing production to cope with the demand. Expansion of the trade is not without 
conservation problems. Collection of seed to supply the nurseries is harming the regenera- 
tion of certain palm species in the wild. 



21 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



One example is the Madagascar! palm Neodypsis decani, which is now available from 
garden centres in Europe. This species is confined in the wild to a small area of about 5 
sq.km in south-east Madagascar. Although the rare palm grows in a reserve, several hundred 
kilos of its seed are exported each year. Unfortunately the species is not suitable for growing 
indoors in centrally heated rooms, so buying the plants results in a continuous drain on seeds 
from the wild population. 

Another group of palms in the genus Chamaedorea. favoured for their attractive leaves, is 
being exported m increasing quantities to Europe and the USA. The trade in this group and 
its implications for wild populations has been researched by WWF-US and its wildlife trade 
branch TRAFFIC-USA. They found that species such as Chamaedorea seifrizii and C. 
elegans. are widely cultivated from seed in Florida, Hawaii, Belize and Mexico, but the seed 
nearly all originates from the wild. A total of 25,000 kilos of seed of C. elegans enters 
Florida each year, along with 15,000 kilos of C. seifrizii. Both these species are available 
from specialist nurseries in Europe. 

Vast quantities of Chamaedorea leaves are also imported to the USA, with for example 
359,219,000 leaves imported from Costa Rica, Guatemala and Mexico in 1986, for use in 
floristry. TRAFFIC USA reports that in some parts of Guatemala leaf harvesting has reduced 
the Chamaedorea populations by as much as 75 per cent. At the same time excessive 
trampling in the forest by the estimated 6000 leaf harvesters is damaging small seedlings and 
young plants. 

The European palm trade has not yet been thoroughly investigated and it is not known to 
what extent the trade has an impact on plant populations in the wild. It is unlikely that palms 
on sale in garden centres will be dug from the wild, but the examples given above show that 
some species are being severely affected by the trade. 

There are around 650 species of tree ferns, in the families Cyatheaceae and Dicksoniaceae. 
which grow mainly in tropical regions of the world. Some species thrive in secondary forest, 
and are well-adapted to disturbance, but other species, mainly those which are confined to 
small areas, are under threat from deforestation and exploitation. 

The main commercial value of tree ferns is from the use of trunk material as a horticultural 
growth medium. Tree fern species typically produce a mantle of adventitious fibrous roots 
which cover the narrow trite stem. This material is sold as blocks, poles, containers, or in 
shredded fibrous form, and is specially favoured by orchid growers. Tree fern potting mix 
from New Zealand is being promoted by some traders as an environmentally acceptable 
alternative to the use of peat. New Zealand tree fern material largely originates in plantation 
or natural forests which are being logged for timber. As such it could be seen as a waste 
product of forestry operations and as long as the forests are effectively managed, production 
should be sustainable. There is, however, some concern about the declining availability of 
tree ferns within New Zealand's native forests. 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



Dicksonia antarctica, the so-called hardy fern, is one of the few tree ferns which is truly 
hardy in Europe. It is imported commercially for sale as a garden plant. As with all other 
tree ferns, international trade in this attractive species is covered by CITES. Plants in 
international trade are felled in the wild and exported legally from Tasmania with CITES 
permits. As with New Zealand tree ferns, Tasmanian Dicksonia is a by-product of the 
logging industry. As long as the forests are properly managed and conserved it should be 
possible to supply plants to the horticultural trade on a sustainable basis. 

• Cycas revoliita is by far the commonest cycad available: plants are either artificially 
propagated or imported from countries where they are naturalized. 

• Other cycads available may well have been wild-collected; check their origin before you 
buy. 

• Do not buy wild-collected Encephalarios plants as they will have been imported ille- 
gally. 

• Palms on sale will almost certainly have been seed-raised in nurseries. Most species are 
not threatened; however, avoid buying the Madagascan Neodypsis decani for which 
seed-collection is an unnecessary drain on wild populations. 

• If you buy large Dicksonia plants, check that they have been legally imported and are 
from a sustainable source. 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 




CACTI AND SUCCULENT PLANTS 

Succulents are amongst our most commonly grown houseplants. The 
familiar prickly cacti, of the family Cactaceae, are perhaps the best- 
known, but falling within the broader category of succulents are aloes, 
euphorbias, haworthias, kalanchoes, lithops and a whole host of other 
attractive and sometimes weird species. In total around ten thousand 
species of flowering plants are considered to be succulents in that they 
store water in their swollen stems or leaves. This adaptation, enhancing survival in arid 
natural habitats, provides a distinctive appearance which accounts for the horticultural 
appeal of succulents. Many million households in Europe will own one or two, often 
moribund, succulent plants. 

The family Cactaceae consists of over 1500 species, virtually all of which are confined in the 
wild to the Americas. Considered to be symbolic of desert environments, nevertheless 
species also grow in alpine habitats and tropical rainforests. The centre of diversity of the 
family is Mexico, with over 800 taxa and home to some of the most popular species in trade. 

Cacti have been known in Europe since the time of Columbus and have been widely grown 
in Europe for at least the past century. Commercial production is now on an enormous scale, 
running into tens of millions of plants each year. Nevertheless there has been a parallel 
demand for wild-collected plants and these remain too commonly available in trade. 

Demand for cacti probably did not reach the same pitch as the nineteenth century orchid 
craze but avid collectors have long sought rare and unusual species. One specimen of the 
rare Ariocarpiis kotschoubeyamis was sold in 1832, by the collector Baron Wilhelm von 
Karwinsky, for 1000 francs, a price far exceeding the value of the plant's weight in gold. 

The collection of wild plants of cacti and other succulent species has been a significant threat 
to the survival of wild populations. This is particularly the case with naturally rare and slow- 
growing species such as the Ariocarpiis or living rock cacti. A field survey carried out in 
Mexico in 1988 predicted that one species, Ariocarpus agavoides would be extinct in the 
wild within the next five years. A combination of threats has been responsible for the decline 
of the species since its discovery in 1941. Collecting for the European, Japanese and US 
market has certainly been a major threat with wild plants quite readily available in trade from 
specialist nurseries over the past ten years. 

It has been estimated that around one-third of all Mexico's endemic cacti are threatened with 
extinction in the wild. There has been a legal ban on the export of wild-collected cacti from 
the country for the past fifty years but this has been too easily flouted as shown by nursery 
surveys. The situation should now improve since Mexico joined CITES in September 1991. 
At the international CITES meeting held in Kyoto, Japan in March 1992, the Mexican 
delegation reported that 18 foreigners were caught illegally collecting cacti in Mexico in 
1991. In some cases these were "pseudo-conservationists" claiming to save wild plants. 



24 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



Madagascar is another country with a succulent plant flora in peril. Madagascar has an 
extraordinary range of succulent plants which matches in its diversity, endemism and 
fascination the island's unique fauna. Over 400 succulent plant taxa are endemic to the 
country including one entire family, the Didiereaceae, with plants which superficially resem- 
ble cacti. The conservation status of most of these plant taxa is unknown but pressures from 
habitat destruction and collection are strong. 

Some Madagascan succulents are well-established in cultivation. Annual European produc- 
tion of the species Pachypodiiim geayi and P. lamerei. for example, amounts to well over a 
million plants. Other species have been routinely imported from the wild. Pachypodiiim 
brevicaule was for example imported in the tens of thousands from Madagascar to Germany 
in 1985 and 1986 and widely sold in general horticultural outlets. These plants were claimed 
to be artificially propagated but subsequent investigation has demonstrated that all were 
wild-collected. In the same way thousands of wild plants of the slow-growing species 
Euphorbia cap-saintinariensis, E. cylindrifolia, E. moratii, and E. piimulifoliu were im- 
ported into Europe in the mid-1980s, together with large numbers o( Didierea and Alluaitdia 
in the Didiereaceae. Unfortunately Madagascar does not have the resources to conserve or 
sustainably exploit its plant life. The development of commercial propagation facilities for 
succulent plants on the island could help to save species from extinction but has not yet taken 
place. 

All species of the cactus family and a number of other succulent genera are listed on the 
Appendices of CITES. A range of the more vulnerable species is listed in Appendix I, so 
international commercial trade in wild plants is prohibited, although it continues to take 
place. The TRAFFIC Europe nursery survey revealed that wild plants of the Appendix I 
cacti Ariocarpiis. Aztekium. Obregonia, Pelecyphora, and Strombocactus were all on sale in 
Italy. Wild Ariocarpiis plants have been sold openly in the Amsterdam flower market, and 
nurseries in Belgium and Germany continue to stock Appendix I rarities. Early in 1992 
seventy cacti including wild Ariocarpiis and Strombocactus plants were seized from a shop 
in Paris. Nurseries no longer appear to stock Appendix I wild cacti in the UK, but the 
temptation remains for enthusiasts visiting the continent to pick up a few forbidden plants. 

Other succulents do not yet enjoy international protection. They include many rarities native 
to Madagascar and South Africa — another major centre of succulent plant diversity. There 
is currently a fashion within the trade for caudiciform or swoUen-stemined plants, which 
occur in a wide range of families and genera. During the past decade caudiciform plants 
such as Kedrostris, Raphionacme, Cyphostemma, Dioscorea, Adenium and Fockea, none of 
which is listed under CITES, together with Pachypodium and caudiciform euhporbias have 
become popular houseplants. Many of these plants are slow-growing in cultivation and 
wild-collected plants are regularly offered. 

Often it is impossible to assess what impact commercial collection is having on wild 
populations but given the declining habitats of succulent plants around the world it is 
generally difficult to justify the commercial collection, particularly when they can be 
cultivated. 



25 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



• Succulents are intriguing and rewarding house plants which account for a multi-million 
dollar industry. Although the majority of species on sale are nursery raised from seed and 
cuttings, others face extinction in the wild because of the continuing trade in habitat 
plants. 

• Never buy wild plants of CITES Appendix-I species. This trade is highly damaging and 
must be stopped. 

• Avoid wild plants of other succulent species. Check with specialist nurseries who will be 
able to tell you the origin of their plants. 

• With a few exceptions (listed below), it is highly unlikely that you will find wild 
succulents in garden centres or other retail outlets. If you suspect that unusual plants may 
be of wild origin point this out. 

• The following are some of the succulents which may be wild-collected. Check carefully 
before you buy: Didierea, Fockea, Kedrostris. Operculicarya. Raphionacme. large plants 
of Nolina and Pachypodium. 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 




CARNIVOROUS PLANTS 

Carnivorous plants, of which there are several hundred species, have 
been the object of fascination for centuries, arousing the interest of such 
renowned naturalists as Charles Darwin, who published the first major 
work on them in 1875. This fascination has led many people to try their 
hand at growing them, and once their particular horticultural require- 
ments are understood they can be very rewarding plants. 

Unfortunately the demand for some species is so great that wild populations have been 
placed under threat from overcoUection. This applies particularly to the Venus Flytrap 
Dionaea muscipula, a plant found in the wild only in the States of North and South Carolina 
in the USA, and described as long ago as 1 763 by Arthur Dobbs. the then Governor of North 
Carolina, as "the great wonder of the vegetable kingdom". 

The Venus Rytrap is by far the most popular and well-known of all carnivorous plants and 
is widely offered for sale, often as dormant "bulbs" pre-packed in containers of growing 
medium, but also as growing plants and, in small numbers, as plantlets in tubes for growing 
on. Well over a million plants in total are sold in Europe every year and a high proportion 
of these — probably over two thirds — are wild-collected imports from the USA with the 
remainder being artificially propagated, mostly in the Netherlands with some in the UK, 
Germany and France. The trade in Venus Flytraps is particularly wasteful as it is generally 
reckoned that 90% of plants die within a few weeks of being bought simply through lack of 
proper care. 

Sufficient concern was felt that the collection of plants was damaging the wild populations, 
which are also under threat from the drainage of the sandy wetlands which constitute their 
home, that in March 1992 the species was placed in Appendix II of CITES. This allows 
exports of wild plants to be properly monitored; it does not ban the trade outright. 

Although Venus Flytraps dominate the market for carnivorous plants, several others are 
becoming increasing popular, notably sundews Drosera, north American pitcher plants 
Sarracenia, butterworts Pinguicula and bladderworts Utricularia. Other groups are re- 
garded as more the realm of the specialist collector, although several can be bought in larger 
garden centres and other retail outlets. These include the tropical pitcher plants in the genus 
Nepenthes which require high temperatures and high humidity and are therefore in general 
only suitable for growing in hothouses or vivaria; the North American Cobra Lily 
Darlinglonia califomica which although almost hardy, is exacting in its requirements and 
not particularly easy to grow; the Western Australian Pitcher Plant Cephalotus follicularis, 
also somewhat fussy about its growing conditions; and the sun pitchers Heliamphora, 
primitive forms from the highlands of northern South America much sought after by 
collectors but rare and expensive in cultivation. 

The great majority of plants offered for sale in these groups are artificially propagated, 
particularly the sundews, butterworts and bladderworts, for which there is no evidence of 
extensive trade in wild-collected plants. Plants sold in garden centres and florists are 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



generally supplied by the five or six wholesale European producers, or sometimes by one of 
the dozen or so other specialist carnivorous plant nurseries, generally small and usually only 
semi-professional, found scattered throughout Europe. 

However the Sarracenia species and DarUngtonia califomica have in the past been wild- 
collected for sale to such an extent that three forms of Sarracenia are now included in 
CITES Appendix I. which means effectively that all international trade in wild plants is 
banned; the other forms of Sarracenia and DarUngtonia are all listed in Appendix II, with 
export of wild DarUngtonia banned under US legislation. Sarracenia is popular with 
collectors and many varieties and hybrids have been raised. The growing plants offered for 
sale in Europe are almost certainly all, or virtually all, artificially propagated but packaged 
rhizomes of both Sarracenia and DarUngtonia are sometimes offered by mail-order and 
some of these may well be wild imports. 

Nepenthes plants have also attracted the interest of commercial collectors. Some species are 
very rare and localized and have been seriously threatened by over-collecting. The spectacu- 
lar Nepenthes rajah from Mount Kinabalu in Borneo is a case in point. This species, which 
produces the largest pitchers of any Nepenthes — as large or larger than a football — is the 
most sought-after of all pitcher plants with collectors paying the equivalent of US $1000 for 
healthy plants. It has now been reduced to two or three populations within Mount Kinabalu 
National Park which are still the subject of poaching, despite the species having been 
included on Appendix I of CITES since 1981. However, this damaging trade is largely to the 
USA and Japan, where interest in Nepenthes cultivation is concentrated, and there is no 
evidence of large-scale imports of wild plants into Europe. 

Small quantities of wild plants of other carnivorous plant species have certainly been 
imported into Europe, but there is no evidence that the trade poses a serious threat to the 
species concerned. 

• Check carefully the origin of any Venus Flytraps offered for sale. Avoid buying them if 
you are not satisfied that they are artificially propagated. 

• Check the origin of any rhizomes of Sarracenia and DarUngtonia offered for sale by 
mail-order or in packages in retail outlets. Again, avoid buying them if there is any doubt 
that they are not artificially propagated. 

• Most other carnivorous plants offered for sale are likely to have been nursery grown. 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 




AIR PLANTS 

One of the most noticeable new plant fashions of recent years has been 
the use of 'air plants' for hoine decoration. These attractive, miniature 
plants are members of the genus Tillandsia in the pineapple family, the 
Bromeliaceae, and are remarkable for their ability to extract all the water 
and nutrients they need directly from the atmosphere, using their roots 
solely as support. In their native haunts in Central and South America 
and the southern USA. they festoon trees, rocks and even telegraph poles, often in enormous 
numbers. The Spanish Moss which drapes itself over tree branches in the swamplands of the 
Deep South in the USA is also a tillandsia, T. usenoides. 

In Europe, air plants are usually sold in high street shops and garden centres in arrangements, 
often of more than one species, glued onto pieces of wood, sea-shells or lumps of lava, 
sometimes forming elaborate miniature landscapes with model animals and humans. 

These arrangements have become so popular that literally millions of plants are imported 
annually into Europe to meet the demand. The majority of these come from Guatemala from 
where in 1988 alone approximately 120 tonnes, comprising around 13 million plants, were 
exported to Germany and the Netherlands. Plants are also imported in smaller quantities 
from other Latin American countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica. Colombia, 
Paraguay and Peru. There are several nurseries in Latin America which supply tillandsias for 
export. Considerable controversy has surrounded the extent to which plants from Central 
and South America are artificially propagated. The tillandsias in bulk trade are relatively 
easy to propagate, either by seed or by offsets from mother plants. However, the former is 
quite a lengthy business, as plants take up to five years to reach saleable size from seed. 
Offsets are quicker, taking only two or three years, but the rate of production is lower, as 
each mother plant produces relatively few offsets at once. Because of this, it has in the past 
proved cheaper to collect mature plants from the wild than to propagate them in nurseries. 
It is now widely accepted that until the late 1980s, between 50% and 70% of the plants 
exported from Guatemala were wild-collected. Fortunately, this situation has apparently 
changed considerably in the past three or four years, with the two major exporters dealing 
increasingly in artificially propagated plants. All these are raised from offsets, as seed 
propagation is only carried out by a few European and North American nurseries. The 
mother stock requires periodic replenishment from the wild, but this places much less strain 
on wild populations than direct collection for export. Nevertheless, other nurseries continue 
to collect from the wild, and a significant, though undoubtedly decreasing, number of wild 
plants still enter international trade. 

The effect the trade is having on wild populations of tillandsias remains largely unknown. 
The bulk trade concerns fewer than twenty species and is dominated by one, Tillandsia 
ionamha, which comprises, for example, 80% of the sales in the UK market. These species 
are generally widespread and abundant in their natural habitats and now artificially propa- 
gated in large numbers and there is no reason to believe that they are threatened with 
extinction at present. However there is evidence of local over-collection in some areas, with 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



all plants stripped from accessible sites. There are reports that, as areas of Guatemala are 
depleted of stocks, commercial collectors are moving into neighbouring areas in Mexico, 
Honduras and El Salvador. 

Of more concern are the large number of rare and localised species of tillandsia. These 
appeal to the growing band of tillandsia specialists, concentrated in Germany and the USA. 
at present, and some are definitely under threat. They include Tilhmdsia siicrei from Rio de 
Janeiro in Brazil and Tillandsia xerographica, a spectacular slow-growing silvery species 
from Guatemala, Mexico and El Salvador which may take eighteen years to mature. This is 
one of the most sought-after of all tillandsias, and one Guatemalan nursery has reportedly 
exported up to 40,000 each year, the great majority, if not all of which, were until recently 
wild collected. Fortunately this species is now also being artificially propagated for export. 
Other species from the Sierra de Orgaos in southern Brazil and mountainous areas in 
southern Mexico and Peru are also believed threatened by collectors. 

There is also concern that rare species may be inadvertently collected and exported in 
shipments of commoner species. Tillandsias are notoriously difficult to identify and even 
experts have difficulty in distinguishing many of the species. 

In recognition of these problems, seven species of tillandsia thought to be particularly at risk 
from trade were placed on Appendix II of CITES in March 1992. 

The specialist trade continues in Europe at a steady level but there is some indication that the 
mass demand may have already peaked, with sales in the UK falling by an estimated 50% 
from 1988 to 1989. There are also encouraging signs that demand is moving towards 
artificially-propagated plants which are generally of higher and more uniform quality that 
wild-collected plants. Increasingly this improved quality is seen as offsetting the higher 
prices that have to be charged for nursery-raised stock. In the United Kingdom, around half 
the plants sold in 1989 were artificially propagated within the UK from imported parent 
stock and the proportion was expected to increase in the future. Previously all the plants sold 
had been imported. There is also large-scale artificial propagation in the Netherlands, 
although this as yet only amounts to a small proportion of the total trade. 

These small tillandsias are not the only bromeliads which are popular as house plants. 
Several other, larger green-leaved tillandsias, particularly the dramatic pink-and-blue spathed 
T. cyanea, as well as species of Aechmea. Billbergia. Cryptanthus. Neoregelia and Vriesea 
are long-established in cultivation. All these are propagated in huge numbers, chiefly in the 
Netherlands, and wild plants are not seen in commerce. 

• Buy artificially propagated air plants in preference to wild-collected ones and definitely 
avoid buying wild plants of those species listed in CITES Appendix-II {Tillandsia 
harrissii. T. kammii, T. kautskyi. T. maiiiyana, T. sprengeliana. T. siicrei and T. 
xerographica). 

• Other bromeliads offered for sale are nursery-raised. 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



SOURCES OF INFORMATION 

This booklet summarises the information compiled in various research reports many of 
which are published in the TRAFFIC BuUeiin. details of which can be obtained from 
TRAFFIC International at the address given below. The principal investigation report is: 

Jenkins, M. (1992). The wild plant trade in Europe: Results of a survey of European 
Nurseries. TRAFFIC Europe. 

Additional references which may be useful are: 

Beguin, J-J. (1992). Artificially propagated orchid source book. A.P.O Catalogues (Address 
— see below) 

Fitzgerald, S. (1989). International Wildlife Trade: Whose business is it'' WWF, Washing- 
ton DC. 

Fuller, D. and Fitzgerald, S. (eds) (1987). Conservation and commerce of cacti and other 
succulents. WWF, Washington, DC. 

de KJemm, C. (1990). Wild plant conservation and the law. lUCN, Cambridge. 

Hunt, D. (1992). CITES Cactaceae Checklist. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and International 
Organization for Succulent Plant Study (lOS). 

Read, M. (1989). Grown in Holland? Flora and Flora Preservation Society. 

Schouten, K. (1992). Checklist of CITES Fauna and Flora. Revised Edition 1992. CITES 
Secretariat, Lausanne, Switzerland. 

Wijnstekers, W. (1992). The evolution of CITES. Third Revised Edition. CITES Secretariat, 
Lausanne, Switzerland. 



31 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



USEFUL ADDRESSES 

A.P.O. Catalogues, CP 15 1231 Conches, Switzerland 
Tel: (022) 3 470312, Fax: (022) 3 477228 

The Artificially propagated orchid source book can be obtained from this address. 

The British Cactus and Succulent Society (BCSS) 
c/o 26, Glenfield Road, Banstead, Surrey. SM7 2DG 

BCSS operates a conservation and research fund which helps to fund in situ conservation 
projects. 

CITES Secretariat, 6 rue de Maupas, Case postale 78, 1000 Lausanne 9, Switzerland 
Tel: (41) 21 200081, Fax: (41) 21 200084 

The Cyclamen Society 

c/o P.J.M. Moore, Tile Bam House, Standen Street, Iden Green, Benenden, 

KentTN17 4LB 

The Society seeks to promote the conservation of Cyclamen in nature and in cultivation 
by all acceptable means. It has issued a Code of Conduct for all Cyclamen growers. 

Fauna and Flora Preservation Society (FFPS), 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR 
Tel: 071 823 8899, Fax: 071 823 9690 

The mission of FFPS is to safeguard the future of endangered species of animals and 
plants. FFPS campaigns on plant trade issues, carries out research into the trade and is 
running the Indigenous Propagation Project in Turkey. 

Plantlife, c/o Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD 
Tel: 071 938 9111, Fax: 071 938 91 12 

Plantlife is a broadly based conservation group set up to save plants and to campaign for 
plant conservation. In doing so it is creating a strong alliance of botanists, gardeners and 
conservationists. 

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB 
Tel: (44) 81 940 1171, Fax: (44) 81 948 1197 

TRAFHC International, 219c Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 ODL 
Tel: (44) 223 277427, Fax: (44) 223 277237 

TRAFFIC Europe-Regional Office, Chaussee de Waterloo 608, 1060 Brussels, Belgium 
Tel: (32) 2 34701 11, Fax: (32) 2 344051 1 

World Conservation Monitoring Centre, 219c Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 ODL 
Tel: (44) 223 277314, Fax: (44) 223 277136 



32 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



ANNEX 1 : Plant species listed in CITES Appendices I and II 
as of 11 June 1992 



Flora 



11 



Agavaceae 



Agave ahzonica 
Agave parviflora 

Nolina interrata 



Agave victoriae-reginae #1 



Amaryllidaceae 



Apocynaceae 



Galanthus spp. #1 
Stembergia spp. #1 



Pachypodium baronii 
Pachypodium brevicaule 
Pachypodium decaryi 
Pachypodium namaquanum 



Pachypodium spp.*#l 



Rauvolfia serpentina #2 



Araceae 



Alocasia sanderiana #1 



Araliaceae 



Panax quinquefolius #3 



Araucariaceae 
Asclepiadaceae 



Araucaria araucana ** +217 



Araucaria araucana* -1 13 #1 



Ceropegia spp. #1 
Frerea indica #1 



Berberldaceae 



Podophyllum hexandrum = 376 #2 



Bromeliaceae 



Tillandsia harrisii #1 
Tillandsia kammii #1 
Tillandsia kautskyt #1 
Tillandsia mauryana #1 
Tillandsia sprengeliana #1 
Tillandsia sucrei # 1 
Tillandsia xerographica #1 



Byblidaceae 



Cactaceae 



Byblis spp. #1 



Cactaceae spp. *#4 



Ariocarpus spp. 
Astrophytum aslerias =377 
Azlekium ritteri 
Coryphantha minima =378 
Coryphantha sneedii =378 
Coryphantha werdermannii 
Discocactus spp. 
Disocactus macdougallii =379 
Echinocereus ferreirianus 
var. lindsayi =380 
Echinocereus schmoliii =381 
Leuchtenbergia principis 
Mammilaria pectinifera =382 
Mammillaria plumosa 
Mammilaria solisioides 
Melocactus conoideus 
Melocactus deinacamhus 
Melocactus glaucescens 
Melocactus paucispinus 
Obregonia denegrii 
Pachycereus militaris = 383 
Pediocactus bradyi =384 
Pediocactus despainii 
Pediocactus knowltoni =384 
Pediocactus papyracanthus = 385 
Pediocactus paradinei 



33 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



Cyatheaceae 
Cycadaceae 



Pediocactus peehlesianus =384 
Pediocactus sileri 
Pediocactus winkleri 
Pelecyphora spp. 

Sclerocactus brevihamaticus =386 
Sclerocactus glaucus 
Sclerocactus erectocentrus =387 
Sclerocactus mariposensis =387 
Sclerocactus mesae-verdae 
Sclerocactus pubispinus 
Sclerocactus wrightiae 
Strombocactus disciformis 
Turbinicarpus spp. =388 
Uebelmannia spp. 



Caryocaraceae 




Caryocar costaricense #1 


Cephalotaceae 




Cephalotus follicularis #1 


Compositae 

(Asteraceae) 


Saussurea costus =389 




Crassulaceae 


Dudleya stolonifer 


Dudleya traskiae 


Cupressaceae 


Fitzroya cupressoides 
Pilgerodendron uvifemm 





Cyatheaceae spp. #1 
Cycadaceae spp. * #1 





Cycas beddomei 




Diapensiaceae 




Shortia galacifolia #1 


Dicksoniaceae 




Dickonsiaceae spp. #1 


Didiereaceae 




Didieraaceae spp. #1 


Dioscoreaceae 




Dioscorea deltoidea #1 


Droseraceae 




Dionaea muscipula #1 


Ericaceae 




Kalmia cuneata #1 



Euphorbiaceae 



Liliaceae 



Euphorbia ambovombensis 
Euphorbia cylindrifolia 
Euphorbia decaryi 
Euphorbia francoisii 
Euphorbia moratii 
Euphorbia parvicyathophora 
Euphorbia primulifolia 
Euphorbia quartziticola 
Euphorbia tulearensis 



Euphorbia spp. -1 14 #1 



Fouquieriaceae 


Fouquieria fasciculala 
Fouquieria purpusii 


Fouquieria columnaris #1 


Juglandaceae 




Oreomunnea pterocarpa =390 #1 


Leguminosae 

(Fabaceae) 


Dalbergia nigra 


Pericopsis elata #5 
Platymiscium pleiostachyum #1 



Aloe spp. * #6 



Aloe albida 
Aloe pillansii 
Aloe polyphylla 
Aloe thomcroftii 
Aloe vossii 



34 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



Mel:aceae 



Swietenia humilis#\ 
Swietenia mahagoni #5 



Nepenthaceae 



Nepenthes spp. * #1 



Nepenthes khasiana 
Nepenthes rajah 



Orchidaceae 



Portulacaceae 



Orchidaceae spp. * 

=391 #7 



Cattleya skinneri 

Cattleya trianae 

Didicica cunninghamii 

Laelia jongheana 

Laelia lobata 

Lycaste skinneri var. alba =392 

Paphiopedilum spp. 

Peristeria elata 

Phragmipedium spp. 

Renanthera imschooliana 

Vanda coerulea 



Palmae 

(Arecaceae) 




Chrysalidocarpus decipiens #1 
Neodypsis decaryi #1 


Pinaceae 


Abies guatemalensis 




Podocarpaceae 


Podocarpus parlatorei 





Anacampseros spp. #1 
Lewisia cotyledon #1 
Lewisia maguirei #1 
Lewisia serrata #1 
Lewisia tweedyi^l 



Primulaceae 



Cyclamen spp. #1 



Proteaceae 



Orothamnus zeyheri 
Protea odorata 



RubJaceae 



Standeriaceae 
Theaceae 



Balmea stormiae 



Saraceniaceae Darlingtonia californica^l 

Sarr^cenia spp. * #1 
Sarracenia alabamensis alabamensis =393 
Sarracenia jonesii =394 
Sarracenia oreophila 



Stangeria eriopus =395 



Camellia chrysantha #1 



Welwitschiaceae 



Welwitschia mirabilis =395 #1 



Zamiaceae 



Ceratozamia spp. 
Chigua spp. 
Encephalartos spp. 
Microcycas calacoma 



Zamiaceae spp. * #1 



Zingiberaceae 



Hedychium phillippinense #1 



Zygophyllaceae 



Guaiacum officinale #1 
Guaiacum sanctum #1 



WILD PLANTS IN TRADE 



NOTES > 

•J 
+217 Population of Chile ^ 

-114 All species that are not succulent 

=376 Also referenced as Podophyllum emodi ' 

=377 Also referenced in genus Echitwcactus ! 

=378 Also referenced in genus Escobaria ^ 

=379 Also referenced as Lobeira macdoitgalUi or as Nopalxochia macdougalUi 

=380 Also referenced as Echinocereus lindsayi 

=38 1 Also referenced as Wilcoxia schmollii 

=382 Also referenced as Solisia pectinata ) 

=383 Also referenced as Backebergia mditahs ' 

=384 Also referenced in genus Toumeya 

=385 Also referenced in genus Toumeya or in genus Sclerocactus 

=386 Also referenced :is, Ancislrocactus tobuschii 

=387 Also referenced in genus Neolloydia or in genus Echinomastus 

=388 Also referenced in genus Neolloydia 

=389 Also referenced as Saussurea lappa i 

=390 Also referenced as Engelhardia pterocarpa \ 

=391 Includes families Apostasiaceae and Cypripediaceae as subfamilies Apostasiodeae and 

Cypripedioideae < 

=392 Also referenced as Lycasle virginaiis var. alba 

=393 Also referenced as Sarracenia rubra alabamensis 

=394 Also referenced as Sarracenia rubra jonesii 

=395 Includes synonym Stangeria paradoxa 

=396 Includes synonym Welwitschia bainesii 

In accordance with Article 1, paragraph b, sub-paragraph (iii), of the Convention, the symbol (#) j 

followed by a number placed against the name of a species or higher taxon included in Appendix II i 

designates parts or derivatives which are specified in relation thereto for the purposes of the Convention J 

as follows: j 

#1 Designates all parts and derivatives, except: 

a) seeds, spores and pollen (including poUinia); and 

b) tissue cultures and flasked seedling cultures 

#2 Designates all parts and derivatives, except: 

a) seeds and pollen; i 

b) tissue cultures and flasked seedling cultures; and 

c) chemical derivatives < 

#3 Designates roots and readily recognisable parts thereof • ] 

#4 Designates all parts andHlerivatives, except: i 

a) seeds and pollen; ] 

b) tissue culture and flasked seedling cultures; 

c) fruits and parts and derivatives thereof of naturalized or artificially propagated 
plants; and 

d) separate stem joints (pads) and parts and derivatives thereof of naturalized or < 
artificially propagated plants of the genus Opuntia subgenus Opuntia ^. 

#5 Designates saw-logs, sawn wood and veneers 

#6 Designates all parts and derivatives, except: 

a) seeds and pollen; 

b) tissue cultures and flasked seedling cultures; and ' 

c) separate leaves and parts and derivatives thereof of naturalized or artificially d 
propagated plants of the species ^4/of vera \ 

I 

#7 Designates all parts and derivatives, except: i 

a) seeds and pollen (including polltnia); \ 

b) tissue cultures and flasked seedling cultures; 

c) cut flowers of artificially propagated plants; and ^ 

d) fruits and parts and derivatives thereof of artificially propagated plants of the genus \ 
Vanilla i 



36 



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pi 



The TRAFFIC Network is the world's largest wildHfe trade 
monitoring programme with offices covering most parts 
of the world. TRAFFIC is supported by WWF (World 
Wide Fund For Nature) and lUCN (the World Conservation 
Union) to monitor trade in and utilisation of wild plants 
and animals. It works in close co-operation with the 
Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in 
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). 
As the majority of its funding is provided by WWF, the 
Network is administered by the WWF Programme 
Committee on behalf of WWF and lUCN. 

The TRAFFIC Network shares its international 
headquarters in the United Kingdom with the World 
Conservation Monitoring Centre. 



For further information contact 
The Director 
TRAFFIC International 
219c Huntingdon Road 
Cambridge CB3 ODL 
United Kingdom 
Telephone: (0223) 277427 
Fax: (0223) 277237 
Telex: 817036 SCMU G 



The Director 
TRAFFIC Europe 
Regional Office 
Chauss^e de Waterloo 608 
1060 Brussels 
Belgium 

Telephone: (32) 2 3470111 
Fax: (32) 2 3440511