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

Known Attacks:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
You have been warned No Plant is safe around this man especially small, vulnerable species. Do not allow your rhododendrons to roam around Victoria unaccompanied.