Pollen Thief – Polite Report
by Joe Harvey - May 2000
Rhododendron growers are warned to look out for this person.
Caucasian male, height - medium, age - mid 60s.
Pattern baldness, usually bearded.
Is known to be armed with tweezers and gelatin capsules in a bottle
of silica gel.
Well-known rhododendron flower molester.
Guard your plants when he is around
You have been warned – No Plant is safe around this man – especially
small, vulnerable species. Do not allow your rhododendrons to roam around
On the evening Thursday 6 May 1999 Joan McMurray brought a beautiful pot
plant of R. makinoi to a meeting of the Victoria Rhododendron Society.
When she left, many flowers of the aforementioned specimen had had their
anthers brutally torn off. A week or two later she was forced to exhibit
this emasculated shred of a plant at the Annual Show. What the comments
of the judge were is mercifully not recorded.
In another case in the fall of 1999, the first R. proteoides to
flower in Victoria, proud owner Bruce Maycock, also lost its anthers. Fortunately
this was from some precocious autumnal flowers and not at exhibition time.
But there may be other attacks, Bruce.