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Thread: N. inermis

  1. #9
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Well I don't know if they have been told but apparently I will have a mess load of the hybrid too since I just got some a few weeks ago. So they are still selling 'N. inermis'.

    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  2. #10

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    Sydney if hamatas are like "weeds" then how ome I`d have to fork over $50 to get one Seems to me they should be in the $10-20 range for a 3in. start.:blues:
    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/pondboy/Neps/Neps%20sig..JPG[/img]

  3. #11

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    Pond Boy:

    Pricing depends on many factors: how long the species has been in cultivation, how much demand there is for it, how difficult it is to propagate by tissue culture, how difficult it is to cultivate, and how much the stock cost. Selling plants is not just a matter of getting some seed and growing. Getting the seed in the first place can be an expensive and sometimes dangerous process. The seller has to recoup their cost base even before they can make a profit.

    Hamata is a species reasonably new to cultivation, it is a fantastic looking species and accordingly it is popular. Popularity means people will pay more for it, consequently vendors will charge more for it. Simple market economics. Suddenly dropping the price causes all sorts of consternation, so the price usually decreases over time. That's another thing you're paying for: having it now rather than waiting. If you want a very cheap hamata, I'm sure you'll be able to get one if you wait a few years. Otherwise, if you want one now, you'll have to pay the market price. You can't have your cake an eat it too....

    Tony:

    The hybrid sold as species issue raises ethical questions for vendors. In my view, vendors should grow wild collected seed in TC out before selling it on to verify what they're selling. If vendors insist on selling it prior to verifying its authenticity, then they should clearly advise potential buyers that the seed is wild-collected and they can make no warranty in relation to its purity (hey, spot the lawyer).

    In this instance, it is even more serious, IMO. The vendor must be aware that their material is a hybrid (and may have been for some time) and continues to sell it as species. Under Australian law, this would get you into trouble for misleading and deceptive conduct.

    Malesiana are not the only vendor selling material from wild collected seed. I don't know what the practive of other vendors is in relation to growing out prior to selling, but it might be an idea to find out. In the event they don't, they should have a published policy about what they will do in the event that any plant sold by them as a species turns out to be a hybrid.
    Demystifying Nepenthes: http://www.nepenthesforeveryone.com

  4. #12

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    Hamish, you are absolutely right IMO about the pricing issue. All the factors you mention are true but there are some others too. Sometimes an accident in the lab such as contamination can cause loss all or part of multiplication stock. It takes a while for the stock levels to be built up again and that causes a hole in supply a year or two down the line. Low supply + High Demand = High Prices.

    Taking the specific example of N. hamata, there was yet another factor: The owner of the cultures we were using under license, terminated our right to produce it any more. We had to return his cultures and burn nursery stock on video (really, really, horrible thing to have to do!). Therefore, we then had to travel to another country to negotiate and purchase cultures from another producer. Apart from being expensive, this caused a shortage in the nurseries that we are just recovering from now. Soon however, the supply will loosen up and prices will fall but not dramatically as in the case of N. campanulata. I really don't know what happened there and feel sorry for people that paid US$180 for it!

    Nearly everything we have, we grow out to ensure it's pure and correctly identified before offering it for sale. Sometimes mistakes are made but they are quite rare these days. Exceptions to this are (for example) N. platychila, where it became known we had it and demand was so high that we yielded to pressure to release plants at very small size. However, it's clear that they are seed grown and the buyer takes his or her chances that it may be a hybrid. They're pretty much sold out now and the next batch will be coming out of the lab. We keep 24 clones in the lab and will grow them to a sufficient size that we can be sure of their purity before selling them. We did the same thing with the first N. jacquelineae to be released, sold them seed grown and very small. A proportion of them turned out to be hybrids with N. izumiae - fortunately a highly attractive hybrid!

    Another souce of error was that some of the TC clones we had under license from the third party mentioned above turned out not to be what he said they were. In the early days we trusted his identification and sold plants at small size that were incorrectly labeled. An example is N. burkei which turned out to be N. ventricosa and a number of others. Also, we have had sterile material donated to us from botanic gardens that turned out to be wrongly labelled e.g. N. faizaliana (actually the parent plants in the Botanic Garden concerned had been incorrectly identified). These mistakes can and occasionally are, made in all good faith.

    It's very easy to make labelling errors both in the lab and in the nursery which is a problem we've been tackling for years. At one time I used to personally check each plant before it came out of the pot but these days there are just too many being shipped for me to do that and not all our staff can recognise a labelling error, so we have to be very careful to ensure each plant is correctly labelled from the lab, to the day it's shipped. We've achieved this with a system of stock control and multiple checks that seems to work well now.

    Finally, at the risk of turning this posting into a book [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img] there is sometimes academic debate over the veracity of a species. For years, we sold what we (and everyone else) believed to be N. thorelii. Now, thanks to recent field and herbarium reseach by Marcello Catalani, it turns out that it's probably N. anamensis and true N. thorelii may be extremely rare in cultivation.

    Sounds like I'm making excuses for BE doesn't it? Not really, I'm actually proud of our track record and we are enthusiasts, not just businessmen but I wanted to explain that consistently correct identification and labelling is a complex issue, especially when nursery buldings and lab are hundreds of Km apart!

    Deliberately marketing a plant you know to be incorrectly labelled is another matter entirely, raising all sorts of ethical and legal concerns as you mention Hamish. I'd better not comment further on that...
    Rob Cantley
    Nep Nut in Sri Lanka
    http://www.borneoexotics.com

  5. #13

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    Great posts Hamish & Rob,

    Very interesting to here some of the reasoning behind pricing clearly explained. Quite a few issues that I suspect many people don't consider when they question the price of some plants.

    Aaron.

  6. #14

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    Hello Pondboy and others:

    What happens is that some people believe that because some plants are mass produced they have to be cheap and if they aren't they usually accuse the vendor of ripping them off.

    Hamatas are still not cheap enough as they should be!. What some should say is that if you get a N. inermis from Malesiana, chances are it is a hybrid, while if you get if from other sources such as BE, chances are it is the real thing simple as that. Until MT fixes the problem, one will have to pay a bit more for an Inermis like it or not. If you don't want to pay for one, then don't buy it. nobody is putting a gun onto your head!.

    If we want cheaper nepenthes, we can always get ventratas and ventricosas..Hopefully they only cost 10 bucks or less
    John

  7. #15

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    I had a heads up on N. thorelii from Jan Schlauer since June 2000, from a conversation we had in SF at the convention. He told me he did not think anyone had the real thorelii in cultivation, and he said the herbarium specimen looked kind of like N. rafflesiana.
    Whenever I mentioned it, people would scratch their heads and say"N. thorelii is really common!" I thought I was imagining the whole conversation.
    When Marcello brought this new situtation to our attention, that was the first thing I thought of about the 'Viking' plants. I don't know if it looks so much like N. rafflesiana, but you have to think what a dried specimen might appear to be.
    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Obvioulsy based on the above, I think 'Viking' will eventually be N. thorelii, but we will see.
    Anyway, new plants will always be pricier. It's not just in the plant industry. It's the producer's right to initially charge whatever he/she wants. Think of a partuicular computer game when it first hits the market and then a year later.

    Cheers,

    Joe

  8. #16
    MadAboutCPs's Avatar
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    Hi everyone,

    This seems to be a hot topic! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img] To cut it short, in regards to ethics, an individual earns the right to get what they paid for. If he/she didn't, he/she should somewhat be re-imbursed the remaining cost especially if the species is found to be a hybrid. It may not happen often but it leaves people questioning the vailidity of the business and hesistant to make further purchases.
    For example, this may be a very bad comparison, but let's say you buy a hot dog and you discover it has chilli in it and you didn't ask for a chilli dog and you paid 30 cents extra for the sauce (as in the case of a few fast food restaurants), of course most people would go back, return it and ask for what they wanted and get a refund on the sauce. Hopefully you get the point.

    It's bad business to promote and sell a product that has not properly been tested. And in the case of these plants, improperly identified. I would much prefer waiting and purchasing a larger plant of which has been properly checked and identified rather than a smaller plant and taking a risk of it being a hybrid.

    As hobbyists' we automatically give trust to reputable business's and can become quite aggravated if we are let down.

    I realise there are going to be mistakes made, but a number of people (young and older) have worked hard and saved for the plant(s) that they really wanted, including myself.

    Are there any techniques that you can use like a gene marker to identify a particular trait of a species that would possibly assist in determining if it is a hybrid or not?

    Keep up the good work!

    Christian

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