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Thread: What to expect when you get seeds from fleabay

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    What to expect when you get seeds from fleabay

    Three years ago I was given a seed grown N. aristolochiodes by a friend who had acquired seeds from a source in Indonesia, sold on Fleabay. Would you like to see my beautiful N. aristolochioides??! I bet you would.
    What to expect when you get seeds from fleabay-aristolochioides-jpg

    For those of you who are anxious to press the Buy button to acquire seeds of rare and endangered species, consider the possible outcome: most times these seeds are NOT what they are labeled as. I can only speculate on the reasons why this happens, but most guesses point to malicious intent on the part of the seller.
    Last edited by Whimgrinder; 08-06-2019 at 08:57 AM.

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    nimbulan's Avatar
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    It's my understanding that it's not generally the seller, but the seed collector (which is generally a different person) who mislabels seeds. It's a lot less work collecting bongso/naga/whatever or stenophylla than edwardsiana, villosa, aristolochioides, or other highly desirable species and they make more money by purposefully mislabeling.

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    Grey Moss's Avatar
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    Yeah, that looks like the real ebay special. I feel like there's been an uptick in people buying nepenthes seed on ebay recently too.

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    Vidyut's Avatar
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    TBH for me, an "aristolochioides" seed growing like that would still be a win. It growing at all to the point of making nice pitchers would be a win. I think there is a far more thriving community in the US and Europe for CPs in general. Reliable seed are not very difficult to find. Hobbyists share or sell seeds and cuttings, etc within postal regions.

    Before I tried seed from ebay, I purchased from "reputed nurseries" - the seeds may have the ID nailed exact right, but they don't germinate. Too old? They are way more expensive and in smaller quantities AND they don't germinate. So it is hard to sow "enough" seeds to eventually have a plant - with the right ID is secondary. The seeds on ebay do germinate at least - from my experience. The seedlings are too small to make any kind of a positive ID, but even in the seedlings, there is enough variation to know that I'll have several different species.

    For me, a lot of you posting beautiful pitcher photos here are way "senior" in growing. I barely have a few plants making adult pitchers. Everything else are juveniles. When I buy seed, I'm investing in the opportunity to grow nepenthes from seed. If I gamble on names of species that make pitchers I find beautiful, it is more about hoping for beautiful pitchers eventually, but it isn't a dealbreaker if I get the wrong ID - it will still be something interesting - any nepenthes at all growing from them would still have the potential to be a beautiful seed grown nepenthes I grew from scratch, so to say.

    I don't have enough plants to think of any kind as "undesirable". Would I love to have a beautiful N. Edwardsiana I grow from seed? Of course! But I'd probably be equally fine with it turning out to be say... fusca (a common packetbomber, it seems), because I don't have a fusca or any seed grown adult nepenthes.

    It is probably a good thing in a different way if we get bogus seeds. Gives me the joy of growing for years before disillusionment and I still have a nice plant at the end of it, and I got all that joy without risking the seeds of the endangered species I foolishly aspired to. And with any luck, if they turn out to be a common species, I may actually sell a few plants for once and get some money to fund plants of true species.

    This is what I am saying now, after eagerly looking forward to the seeds growing into beautiful plants.

    Perhaps 3 years later I may be begging for someone to give me real seeds and going "never again" about ebay. Who knows.

    In the meanwhile, I'll have had a lot of fun growing, with any luck.
    Balcony farmer, carnivorous plants, DIY, sustainability, socio-political commentary India.

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    “It is probably a good thing in a different way if we get bogus seeds.”

    I fail to see how funding an intentionally fraudulent seller is in any way “a good thing”. Rewarding a dishonest merchant for deceptive practices will only perpetuate the practice, so in effect you are encouraging the sale of fraudulent merchandise to others who are likely far less tolerant of this dishonesty than you. This does nothing to improve the hobby.

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    Vidyut's Avatar
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    All I mean to say is that as long as I am getting seeds that look about right for the species and they are germinating, at least for now, it is good enough for me. I also admitted that once I have more plants, I may not appreciate getting common seeds for something exotic I buy. "Authentic" seeds are pointless if they don't germinate, and outside places with a good density of growers, it is hard to get any seeds at all. For Nepenthes seeds, I don't know a single other place I can get seeds and reasonably expect them to germinate and I've been a fairly prolific buyer over the last several years. So gambling over a possibly wrong ID isn't that big a deterrent. The thing with a gamble is also that the seeds may be right or wrong ID, but still be interesting plants.

    Sure, if you have a good collection of nepenthes and would prefer to not waste time and space on common species AND you have access to reliable seed, your view makes a lot of sense. Heck, if I had access to buy/trade the kind of hybrid seeds I hear talked about here, I wouldn't buy on ebay either. So far I've asked plenty of people on different forums, and no one has been willing to ship seeds to India.

    About rewarding an intentionally fraudulent seller... I don't know that they are intentionally fraudulent sellers - if we are talking of the ones that sell actual nepenthes seed, as opposed to the Chinese fraudsters. I know that there is a possibility of mislabeling. I don't know enough to be confident it is deliberate!

    And as for mislabeling or intentional fraud, I've purchased an N. rajah x veitchii and got what is most likely an N. truncata/robcantleyi x veitchii from an allegedly reputed nursery. I paid thrice the cost, got plant with ID I can't be certain of, AND no replies to emails. And I am fairly certain this can't be accidental, because the same order had a robcantleyi x veitchii as well, so essentially, I got two of them, just different sizes, so the pitchers of one being juvenile, they looked different.

    The seeds are way cheaper fraud.
    Last edited by Vidyut; 08-07-2019 at 11:46 AM.
    Balcony farmer, carnivorous plants, DIY, sustainability, socio-political commentary India.

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    Vidyut's Avatar
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    Also, I suspect the fraud happens in more rare species. So far, the seed grown nepenthes I have where I can make out enough that the seed was labeled right is a rafflesiana. Not a lot of incentive to sell bogus seeds for that. I may change my tune if my "seed grown macrophylla" that so far seems authentic in the sense of being unbelievably slow turns out to be a fusca or maxima. But I probably wouldn't be as pissed if it turned out to be say... an edwardsiana or hamata or some other slow toothy species. Since ALL of them are pretty exciting for me so the wrong ID would be like "shrug. happens".
    Balcony farmer, carnivorous plants, DIY, sustainability, socio-political commentary India.

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    I actually just got an authentic aristolochioides off of fleabay and it’s an awesome plant and surprisingly kind of hardy for me.

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