Rare Anthurium seeds for bid on eBay - BEWARE!
Recently I became informed that a certain vendor is on eBay listing and trying to sell a great variety of aroid seeds, many of them Anthurium, and many of those very rare, or even nonexistent in botanical garden collections! This person alleges that they obtain their seeds from a supplier in south Africa, and the eBay seller is allegedly operating from Turkey. For any of you who have seen this person's eBay pages, I am providing this cautionary information.
I provide the link below for educational purposes, I advise strongly AGAINST placing a bid on any of these listings. I explain why below.
Many of you know I do a lot of aroid breeding, and have done so since the 1980s. Thus I have learned a lot about the viability and proper care of seeds from Alocasia, Anthurium, Philodendron, Amorphophallus and Caladium over the years. The most important thing I've learned is that many, if not all, of these seeds have short viabilities even under the best of conditions. Therefore I can state categorically that even if the seeds this person is selling are the real McCoy, the chances of any buyer receiving a shipment of viable seeds from this person are slim and none.
Some of the plants listed are so rare that many botanical gardens and conservatories do not even have representatives of these plants in their collections! Even those who do have these plants find it very challenging to get seed set, and if they did, they would not be placing them on eBay for sale. Instead, they would grow the seeds on here in the USA and keep the plants for further work or distribution to reputable institutions or collectors.
Think about it mathematically; if the seeds originate in south Africa, they have to be harvested there then shipped to Turkey. Assuming they are harvested fresh and IMMEDIATELY shipped, figure 5 to 10 days to Turkey! Then, once in Turkey, this person puts the offer on eBay and there's another 5 or 6 days at least for bidding to proceed. Next, once the bidding is complete, the buyer has to pay and the order has to ship, figure another 5 to 10 days before the buyer actually receives the seeds in question. With aroid seeds, they will be lucky to get anything recognizable as a seed in their shipment, much less anything viable.
The pictures make it really tempting to try to get the seeds. But I say, let the buyer REALLY beware on this one! Besides that, you can look at pictures of the same plants on the Intenational Aroid Society website and discover that this vendor has pirated those pictures!
The funny part is that since Anthurium plantlets look very similar one to another when small, and since there is no reference set of pictures of little seedlings one can consult to verify the specific status of a particular seedling, that means that even if the seeds are viable, the buyer won't know for certain that they've been scammed until a year or two has elapsed. By then the seller will be long gone with their money.
Finally, I feel strongly that we in the USA shouldn't be selling any Anthurium seed or plants to people in Indonesia or the tropical Far East anyway, for several very important reasons. One reason is that Indonesia is a tropical area where these plants could become naturalized, and these plants are not native there; if they escape, one or more of them could have a deleterious effect on the native flora, either through introduction of associated pests or through competitive pressures, or both.. Another is that if we cannot get plants freely from them due to CITES and other regulations, then they should be under the same strict limitations as we are, and not be able to get our plants freely either.
Here is a link that might be useful: eBay sale page - rare seeds