are patented plants ruining horticulture?
Is anyone else sick of the way patented varieties disappear because the original producers want to move on to something else? And no one else can legally keep offering them? Plants are no longer offered on the individual merit, but on how much money they can make one exclusive producer.
Take for example, Heuchera 'Pewter Veil'. I had a bed of this in the late 90s. It did fine and had a demure beauty. Still looked like a wild plant. Grew fast enough you could divide it after a couple years. A few years ago I decided to shop for some Heucheras and noticed all of the new ones from Terranova et al. were much showier. Not what I wanted. For some odd reason it still shows up in some searches, as though it was briefly reoffered. But the UMN plantfinder, which seems to aggregate the past couple years, doesn't show any retail source.
Or how about Digitalis 'Spice Island'? It grew very well for 4 years, which is what you would expect for a short-lived perennial. Was the most interesting looking Foxglove I've ever grown, and was more vigorous than the straight southern European species from which it was hybridized. Is it still available in the UK? Yep. Can anyone else in the US market it in the US now that the owner, Sunny Border, decided to stop? Nope. (btw plain foxgloves grow like weeds in a wild part of my garden, so it's not like foxgloves struggle here and I had to coddle it.)