Searching for Chloranthus spicatus for Father's Day!

Goooby(6)May 6, 2013

Hello Gardenwebbers!

I'm rather new to this forum, but have been looking all over for Chloranthus spicatus aka "Pearl Orchid" for my dad for two years now, but have not found any for sale yet. He grew up with the plants in China and asked me to try and find the English name for it so he could buy it himself, but gave up quickly because they seem to be nonexistent in terms of nurseries (local and online)! Would anyone happen to know where I could get my hands on one of these cute little buggars? I'd also be more than happy to pay private sellers for the plant/cuttings if anyone has one! Any information would really be appreciated since Father's Day is approaching rather quickly and I really really want to finally get him a Chloranthus spicatus plant! Thanks for reading :D!

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kemistry(8 - Oregon)

I can send you some cuttings though they will be small. They take about a month to root. Would you like to give it a try?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 5:46PM
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Goooby(6)

That would be amazing!! I would love to let my dad give it a shot since he's the one with the green thumb :). Thank you so much! Were you looking for anything in return? Perhaps money or other cuttings that you've been looking for? I could ask my dad if he has anything you'd be interested in!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 7:13PM
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kemistry(8 - Oregon)

No, nothing. You can pay it forward ;). Just send me an email with your address.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 8:02PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Thanks to the kindness of Kemistry I too have Chloranthus spicatus.

Being a Westerner with no familial ties to the plant I'd like to share my views on the plant. First it does indeed smell amazing. Very much like Aglaia odorata (Chinese Perfume Plant). That being said it takes weeks to months for the bloom spike to ripen to the point of having scent and then it only lasts a day or so before the tiny yellow blossoms unceremoniously drop everywhere. :)

Still it's probably my most treasured plant since it was given by a dear friend and of course because of its rarity. ;)

From my experience it does not like having its roots disturbed. I originally had it growing in reasonably fast draining mix (Al's 5:1:1 mix). I then decided to try it in a more stable gritty mix and the plant took off. Its roots went crazy however I had to water it too often so I decided to trim the roots and change back to a more normal potting mix in a shallow hanging basket. Big mistake. Its roots grow deep and they don't like shallow pots. My plant has suffered dearly for it. I potted it back into a deeper pot in the 5:1:1 mix and it's only just now recovering (sorry, Kemistry!).
It does thrive in the filtered light of the arbor so I'm sure it will be thriving again come summer.

Just giving my experience with the plant should anyone be lucky enough to get one.

Why a retailer doesn't pick up the torch and start carrying this plant I'll never know.
There's certainly demand for it!

-Robert

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 9:58PM
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Goooby(6)

Thanks so much for the information! I'll make sure to pass it on to my dad when he receives Kemistry's cuttings! :) and thank you Kemistry for your generous offer.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 10:18PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

You're welcome!

Kemistry is a very generous and kind person. :)

-Robert

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 10:26PM
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fragrant2008

I second that :) and thanks for the info Robert :)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:54PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

You're welcome, fragrant!

It's been heartbreaking to watch the plant slowly drop leaves and then stem fragments after the ordeal but I think the worst is over. It has also been dropping flower spikes which has really been maddening but the new shoots coming from the base have given me hope.

I just hope no one makes the same mistake as me! :)

-Robert

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 2:03PM
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kemistry(8 - Oregon)

It really is hard to kill the Chloranthus spicatus. I did manage to lose one newly rooted cutting because I forgot to water it. Other than that, so far, I've had a 100% success rate rooting these cuttings. : )

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 5:39PM
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botaniphile(9b Tampa)

My cuttings are looking crispy. Is this normal, kem?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 4:25PM
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kemistry(8 - Oregon)

Is it really hot in FL? I hope the heat didn't cook it. Post pic! : )

As long as the stems and leaves are still green then they are good. Before you pot them up soak them in water for a few hours.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 5:05PM
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botaniphile(9b Tampa)

They look so sad :(. I have a bunch of other cuttings and I put these outside with them, I think I messed up by doing that. They do have a white cloud forming from the cut ends, though... Hope that's a good sign.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 3:40PM
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kemistry(8 - Oregon)

Yeah the leaves are goner but if the stems are still green and firm then there may be a chance of them rooting.

Put the cuttings in bright shade not direct sunlight. Give them some sun only when they have rooted. If yours don't make it send me an email later this Fall and I'll send more cuttings. : )

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 5:39PM
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botaniphile(9b Tampa)

Ok, deal. The stems are still green. At least now I know what not to do :). I'm still really new to the propagation thing, can you tell?! Haha.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 1:04AM
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