info on chen yi nursery

fman(z7NY)July 14, 2006

i was just looking at the chen yi website. does anyone have any experience with this nursery? how are the plants/bulbs? are they a reliable nursery? i would like to order some jack in the pulpits and maybe some other things. is it true that they start to ship out the plants/bulbs in feb.? what do you guys do with the plants/bulbs when they arrive so early? when do you start ordering from them. they have some very interesting things but are a little leary about ordering from them. i would appreciate any input, experiences or opinions. thanks a lot.

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Oooohhhhh - wait til you hear from Dan! He orders from them all of the time! He likes to do "share" orders, so maybe you can get with him for an order, unless he's not doing any ordering right now. He highly recommends them, while at the same time, he'll be up front and tell you that you may not get what you order. Meaning, you'll get an arisaema, but it may not be the species you order. However, from everything he says about them, and he speaks highly of them, he highly recommends them for the tubers and the price.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 2:07PM
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I'll put my two cents in:

*She has a remarkable selection and the quality is pretty top notch having met her in person and visited her warehouse during packing.

*Prices are dirty cheap, but you're likely to get plants that are improperly identified.

*A LOT of her plants are wild collected. We are encouraging her to cease this practice, but it's how she does business.

I would support the nurserymen here who are making an effort to propagate her plants and properly identify them before introduction into the market.

The price list on her website is not updated. She usually sends it out in early fall and shipping begins shortly after and continues into April, I think.



    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 4:54PM
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bluebonsai101(6a PA)

My only disagremment with Riz is why pay a nursery $12-20 for an Arisaema you can buy for $2-4 from Chen Yi....yes, it may not have a proper ID, but you have to ask yourself do you really care?? I personally do not and in fact I do not even put labels on mine because I simply enjoy the dozens of species I have and do not care if it X or Y!! If you are completely hung up on the exact species then spend the extra money and hope the nursery got the ID correct.....maybe not if it is truly an odd species. Chen Yi sends out healthy tubers of Arisaema....I've never had lots of luck with her Amorphophallus to be honest. Her Paris and Mayapple are also excellent when they arrive and I've gone in with people for many, many other plants that arrived in good shape......My advice is buy from her rather than paying the extra money for a U.S. bred plant, but that is obviously only my opinion and others will differ. My only squeamish part is that they are obviosly wild collected, but you will have to decide how your conscience feels about that. Best of luck in your order :o) Dan

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 7:05PM
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That's exactly the idea: by purchasing from her, you're encouraging more wild collections to keep up with the demand.

About mislabelled plants: It's no problem for independent hobbyist like Dan, but the major issues have been with growers who re-sell the plants under the name Chen Yi labels them as. Her Arisaema sell for big bucks here in the US and also in the UK because they are blooming size and flower well. Keen gardeners, who spend so much for these plants, should get their money's worth and expect a plant that is properly identified. But then, surprises can often be good too.

Also to keep in mind, shipping costs are sky high and placing an order together is a smart way to go should you decide to go ahead with it.



    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 12:31AM
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bluebonsai101(6a PA)

My experience is that you can expect to add 50% to the cost of the tuber.....still cheaper than anything by far in the U.S. and please remember that most U.S. shippers way, way overcharge on shipping...some are just plain's a toss up on shipping in my opinion.....also, be aware of the complete goofs on ebay selling Chen Yi tubers for silly prices....they are such incompetent growers that they often steal her very poor images rather than growing the things for a season themselves and taking a nice pic of their own. Also be aware that some of the tropical species are not the easiest to should certainly do some homework, but if you are just looking for some nice candidissimum, fargessii or consaguineum (erubescens) then you can expect to get what you order in my experience :o) Dan

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 9:04PM
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hi. this is fman. i'm sorry i haven't responded earlier to your posts but i've been working. thanks for all the info. i definitely think i will order from chen yi. since the cost of the tubers are so small i don't mind paying more for shipping. if you guys want to combine orders to make a large one i would definitely be into that. i just don't how to do it. if not, i'll just order on my own. what arisaemas would you suggest ordering from your experiences? i already have sikokianums, candidisimums, and triphyllums. any you find really interesting or cool? i would definitely like some that are tall ( 3 feet or more ) with the flowers held above the foliage. what about the cardiocrinums and mayapples? i already have 2 cardiocrinums from asiatica that have grown leaves but have not flowered yet. i also bought podophyllum plienthum which i planted last year which poked its head out of the ground this year and then seemed to have died out ( ? maybe it is where and how i planted it ) i would like to give it a second shot. any suggestions on how to plant these arisaemas, cardiocrinums, and mayapples when i get them? what do i do with them if they arrive before spring in early winter? and also, do i e-mail chen yi now for listing of her plants and prices? when do you send her your choices of what you would like to purchase? sorry again for all the questions but you guys are really helpful. i bet you guys have really cool gardens. i would love to see pictures of how you combine these plants into your gardens. i have a mostly shady garden. i already have all the usual shade plants ( many hostas, brunnera, pulmonaria, trycirtis,astilbes,corydalis,epimedium,dicentra etc.) and am trying to add as many unusual and interesting plants i can. anyway, thanks again for any help.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 10:13AM
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Chen Yi's new list probably won't be available until late August or early Sept. Make a note to email her then and ask for a copy. Have ordered from her for several years and shipping cost is comparable to what I pay for 3 day air select or air freight from the West Coast and transit time is about the same. All of the plant material is shipped in the dormancy state, for the most part. Exceptions noted are, evergreen Asarums and Ferns, which arrive in good shape, even though they are bare root, but well packaged and are still moist upon arrival. Survival rate for woodies, (ex. Daphne), has been Zero.

Don't use tunnel vision when considering whether the Aroids are "wild collected", as many are cultivated in Asia as a food staple and for livestock feed. Some are exported to serve worldwide ethnic consumers.
We should look inward, before condemming others, as our skirts aren't clean either. You only have to look at Southern Appalachia, where Trillium and Cypripedium(Lady Slippers) are "wild" collected by the tons each year to meet domestic and worldwide demands. Also, in the Middle East, Cyclamen are likewise collected by the bushel or barrels-full and sold in open markets or on street corners to exporters.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 12:29PM
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I know of folks who ordered from her as well. They mostly got Cypripediums. Some of the plants were obviously wild collected (very rare ones I might add), and others seemed to be nursery grown for some time. Of course that doesn't necessarily mean they were grown from nursery stock, it just shows that the plants were stabilized in cultivation. Wild collected Cyp stock has really high mortality rates, in excess of 50% for most species and much higher for others.

Is this a good practice? Not in my view. Certainly it is nice to get something at a cheap price, but then again you need to ask yourself what the real price is for supporting this behavior.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 12:45AM
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Hi Tom, Long time, no see!
I have Chen Yi's list of available Orchidaceae species and it is quite extensive, including, as you indicated, some rare species of Cypripedium. She does not offer any of those to her customers in the US and many other countries. I suppose experience and/or knowledgeable advice has convinced her of the folly of those passing APHIS/USDA inspection in the US, even though China is a CITES signatory and they would be accompanied by a source document. I wouldn't be a prospective customer anyway, as many of the species are difficult to maintain, without knowing the exact geophysical conditions of their habitat, which, in this case, is very unlikely.
I do treasure the Calanthe species of Japan, however, especially Calanthe sieboldii, an extremely showy and easily grown rhizomatous species, that multiplies rapidly to form large colonies.
Keep in touch, Tom! Always good to hear from you.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 1:40AM
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any one wanting a share partner to order fm chen yi contact me,,,indianabob grower of fine weeds and a few hosta

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 9:42PM
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peonyman(Zone 5, Lawrence, Ks)

Your page does not show a way to contact you. No email is listed.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 6:04PM
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    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 12:36AM
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There are a lot of debates on Chen Yi nursery in different forums. I recently learned that Chen Yi's yahoo e-mail address may currently be hijacked and abused by an unauthorized person, i.e. it is not reliable any more. Does anybody have other contact information, preferably a phone number?

Thanks, Peter

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 8:45AM
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