What's new
TerraForums Venus Flytrap, Nepenthes, Drosera and more talk

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

That "other" nursery


It’s a trap!
Well, I thought I would check them out again. Submitted my order on 8/24/2002 and received it today ( 8/30/2002 ).

What was ordered:

(2) 5-10 year old VFT bulbs ( common )
(1) S. leucophylla rhizome

Condition of package was good. Plants are bare root as indicated. The 2 VFT bulbs were sent in moist peat moss. Size of bulb is about 1 inch in diameter.

The S. leucophylla is a bare root rhizome. Labled as Sarracenia leucophylla. Plant appears to be 2-3 years old from size of rhizome.



This packaging is similar to what I remember being sent 12+ years ago when I last ordered.

On the box is a New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Nursery Registration Certificate.

Thought I would check into the nursery again. I was not offered to collect any plants for them. I was just sent an email with my order and shipping date.

Once again, I don't see the problem with this nursery. I have been a happy customer both times I have ordered. One was 12-13 years ago, and the other was today.

From what I hear there is rumours of illeged field collecting going on with that "other" nursery.
So far from what I've been able to tell...that "other" nursery is quite the taboo amoungst many here!
The rumors are true. In my experience at least...
well, just for everyone's information : Tissue culture venus flytraps are small(er) than those in the wild as general rule. If you have a flytrap bulb that is 1" in diameter, it's either a cultured plant that they've sat on for MANY years (which is unlikely), or a plant from the wild. Just think about what you paid for that plant and if it's a price that warrants a nursery holding on to for 5-10 years. Probably not. Just my thought.
Another thought...

Wouldn't a nursery that collects from the wild be out of business by now? After all, it is illegal to collect wild venus flytraps. I am sure with all the complaints people have had against them, the authorities would have looked into it by now.

“Convicted violators are fined $100-$500 for a first offense, $500-$1000 for subsequent convictions. "Each illegal movement or distribution of a protected plant shall constitute a separate violation," says the Act, and for continued violations the court may determine that each day in violation constitutes a separate violation. Also, for second or subsequent violations, the Plant Conservation Board may levy a civil fine of up to $2,000. “
( http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq2640.html)

Either this company is very good at hiding its field collecting practices or it’s not field collecting.

Tissue culture is the way things seem to be going. Peter Paul’s has not changed it prices in a very long time. It is possible that they have grown plants for such a long time that they have planned very well for different ages of bulbs. Planting 30 years ago would have yielded many 10+ year old bulbs and many younger bulbs. Just because someone doesn’t do it the way the modern nursery does, doesn’t mean they are field collecting.

7:30 PM 8/30/2002

Called Peter Paul's Nursery and asked them a few questions. The lady that answered the phone was very nice and happy to hear from me. I told her I just received my order and was happy with it. I also informed her that I was discussing the nursery online. I asked in passing if they field collect and she said they do not field collect. I did ask for her name but was passed onto another employee (male). Although not as friendly, he was happy that I got my order and that I was pleased with the quality. When asked about field collecting, he said that it would be impossible to field collect plants that don’t even grow naturally in the area. Furthermore, it is improbable that a plant field collected from another area would be able to be shipped in a week; let alone the 3 days it took to receive my order.


They don't do the collecting personally!! And yes I know it says 'and distribution' of illegal material. Keep in mind that most Sarracenia are not protected and if they are they are not protected from the land owner collecting at his free will and doing whatever he wants with the plants.

Don't you think its a bit odd that plants which should be in full growth in the middle of the summer are dormant and leafless?

Why? Because they get in a batch of plants. Repack them and toss in the fridge till they get sold.

Any idea what it costs to run a nursery?? If they have been growing these plants for 5, 10, 15 years or more before they have been sold. There is no way in the world they would be making a profit at the prices they offer.
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (NickHubbell @ Aug. 30 2002,7:47)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">When asked about field collecting, he said that it would be impossible to field collect plants that don’t even grow naturally in the area. Furthermore, it is improbable that a plant field collected from another area would be able to be shipped in a week.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
Yes but he could have field collected plants growing at his nursury. Field collected Leucophylla,VFT,Etc etc etc.
Every nursery has different costs of operation. Some places have plants that command a higher profit than other plants. As far as field collecting goes, who is to say they are not farming their plants. We all get corn from fields. Tree nurseries don't grow under glass. They grow in open fields. Who is to say they don't have fields of carnivorous plants growing in cultivation.

Also, I noticed that the most complaints came about in 1995-96. that was 6-7 years ago. Things have changed since then. From the tone of the posts, they are the “Oh, Oh!, I forgot to mention this...” Seems to me someone was upset with the nursery and was making things up. Do you really think someone would take the time to dig up plants for $0.50 each? You have to be kidding me! It wouldn’t be worth anyone's time to do that. Perhaps what was indented as a joke was taken seriously. I once was asked to list things on ebay for a antique shop. The fellow offered me $0.50 for any item that sold. What a joke! I would spending 15 minutes listing an item for 50 cents and he sells it for $100. Do you really believe that someone would dig plants for 50 cents knowing the guy sells them for 13 times that amount. Think about it people!

As for the plants being dormant. How do we know they aren't purchased from mass growers in the States or overseas? They could import mass quantities of jumbo vft bulbs and store them until they sell the plants. Same goes with other types of carnivorous plants. These all could be imported in such quantity that they can sell them inexpensively to us.

The prices of their other plants are on par with other nurseries. The VFT is the only plant I have seen that is less expensive on their web site.

Plants being mislabeled... Ok, so they were mislabeled. Call them up and tell them you didn’t get the plants you ordered. Not once did I see a post that said they did this. No one came out and asked them for a replacement plant.

Another comment on the size of the plants. SUPERthrive boasts that you can get two years growth in one year. Perhaps they have found this to be true.

The plants that I did order do have leaves. the larger leaves have been cut off. Each vft has one new leaf forming and the Sarracenia has one small pitcher starting to form with a smaller one just behind it. The larger pitchers had been removed.

It still sounds fishy to me.

I went back and searched the mailing list archives, and found nothing except bad things about that nursery.

James Pietropaolo, in his book, plainly condones field collecting and gives poor reasoning for doing so.

But I'm happy you've had a good experience with them. Maybe if I see a few more positive reports, I will begin to change my mind.
  • #11
That's a record of a complaint that required someone to report him to the BBB. I assume that the attempts to resolve it did not commence until the BBB intervened.

I want to see some glowing recommendations.
  • #12
You know... I wasn't going to get involved in this discussion AT ALL, but I must vent here.

Nick, you are definitely entitled to think and believe what you wish... that's the nice thing about being a free person.

HOWEVER, We've been in this business a while.  We're by no means the authority in any way... but we've been around long enough to know about the reputations of others and what goes on.

I called this place... specifically spoke to a man who called himself "Jay".   I asked the pointed question of whether or not he deals in exclusively cultured material (speaking of flytraps)... he told me it was too expensive still.  He basically eluded to the fact that it's less expensive to 'hire someone to get the plants' ...and he doesn't ask questions.  He also mentioned people that pull plants from their own private property in which he offered compensation.

I kinda just stopped there with a sick feeling in my stomach.  So much so, that we've refused to sell to him when he called and asked to purchase Red Dragons and cephalotus from us.  He doesn't know why we didn't sell to him, because I was not in the mood for confrontation... we just didn't sell to him.  I'm not going to assist in any way in keeping another company that pulls ANY plant from the wild and sells it.  ANY PLANT- PROTECTED OR NOT!   There is a basic ethics issue here at hand... and there are some basic laws at hand.  THough he may not have a legal problem selling field collected Sarracenia... it's still horrible that anyone would rape the environment for commercial gain...

I most certainly side with those who are cautious of doing business.  I was once told by another forum member of high character, that they called and asked to visit the place.  They were refused.  Another person has mentioned openly here, that he was there, but saw no live plants growing... everythign was just in coolers.  (Non of this can I personally testify to... but I have no reason to disbelieve these people, as I've known them now for some time).

Additionally...  The ICPS is an extremely reputable organization that has been created by people that have the interest and needs of these plants in mind.  This organization has posted on their website the experiences of this nursery and a word of caution.  Now, do you think the members and founders of the ICPS would be spreading crappy rumors, or even wasting their time for something that was just second hand knowledge... or heresay.  I think not.

You can visit the site here http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq6010b.html


The Better Business Bureau is a joke.  I've been in business for myself all my life.  At one point I subscribed to their bureau... but it's funded totally by Business subscriptions.  They are vague when it comes to complaints... and they do NOT have a history of complaints unless they've gone unresolved.  So the only thing that a company has to do... is follow up with the few disputes they get through the BBB, and their record is 'clean'... with no negative information.
It serves the business more than it does the consumers.... which is a darn shame, because so many people use them.

So at this point, I suggest you listen to what people have to say.  It's more than the BBB can ever offer you... it is the real life experiences of people that have figured a company out.

OH! AND! Before I forget...  You mentioned about the legal issues and fines for selling these field collected plants.  Remeber this:  If a company is PURCHASING field collected material from a person or company... they are not going to be nailed for the 'crime' ... so it doesn't matter.  If you've just purchased field collected material from a company, and they didn't collect it themselves... they can shrug it off as to being ignorant... and not knowing.

Old habits die hard, my friend.  If tissue culture is too expensive for someone (which it generally is for some nurseries, which is why places like us have more expensive stuff when it comes to flytraps)... they're not likely to absorb the additional cost unless they absolutely HAVE TO.  And... if you have some 15 year old digging up plants from the wild at .23 cents each or whatever... why go spend $1.00 + per tissue cultured plug?  Until the .23 stock runs dry in the wild... there's no reason for someone to suddenly become ethical and spend 4X that money on artificially propagated plants.  

I know I said FINALLY up there a while ago.. but this is really it.. finally....

Finally,  that nursery sells 10+ year old bulbs.  NOW.. if this doesn't convince you... nothing will:

Tissue culture of flytraps has not been around long enough in quantity for ANYONE to have a 10+ year old venus flytrap bulb that has grown out from TC.  It's JUST NOT POSSIBLE.  Though culture was available, it is EXTREMEMLY unlikely that they invested the money in culturing 10 years ago... especially when it was somewhat acceptable to field collect at that time.  So it's JUST NOT POSSIBLE.  We have a few 5,6,7 year old plants on our hands... but that's even pretty rare...

So, rather than defending a company before the facts are laid out... think about the common sense behind it.   Think about the market.  Think about what you're getting and what you're paying for it.... and how big it is when it shows up.  There's definitely ways to tell if those things are cultured or not... and I'd probably bet my last dollar that they weren't.

So, if you choose to continue to support/defend some nursery... that's your decision.  But listen to those that have been out there a while... those at the ICPS... those here... those everywhere that have posted things... not much positive except what I've heard from you tonight

  • #13
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Do you really think someone would take the time to dig up plants for $0.50 each?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

ABSOLUTELY!  Pull up 1000 plants from a bog in a day and make yourself a quick 500 bucks.  It would be very easy to do.  Your talking about areas where wages are low and many people are unemployed.  

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">The prices of their other plants are on par with other nurseries[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
3.95 is on par with other nurseries??  You tell me how they could be nursery growing and propagating these plants and selling them for 2 to 3 times less than other nurseries KNOWN to be dealing in only artificially propagated plants whether at their own location or from purchasing from other mass growers either in the US or overseas.  

And 5.95 for 3, 5-10yr old bulbs?? thats less than $2 each!!! You cant buy a vft bulb that big wholesale, from large artificially propagated nurseries ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.  Much less getting them for less than that and then turning around and marking them up to their retail price.

This the last post I am making on this matter.  

Thanks Phil for putting down in words all that has been swirling around my head! Glad you can cohesively express what I have been thinking... now I need to go cool down.
  • #14
You can make a complaint to the BBB for any of the following reasons:

* Misleading Advertising.
* Improper Selling Practices.
* Non-delivery of Goods or Services.
* Misrepresentation.
* Unhonored Guarantees or Warranty.
* Unsatisfactory Service.
* Credit/billing Problems.
* Unfulfilled Contracts.

Sending an incorrect plant is an unfulfilled contract. Any unsatisfactory service would include: Failure to deliver in a timely manner, incorrect product send without resolution, etc.

If you are not satisfied with a company, that is all you need to file a complaint.
  • #15
In the time I've been online and researching carnivorous plants I've been contacted by two nurseries who wanted me to field collect for them. They don't do the collecting themselves, they offer to pay other people who live in the areas the plants grow wild in. Both were rather blunt about what they wanted and one continued to hassle me after I said no. I'll never do buisness with a nursery that field collects and it seems to me that even without my personal experience, Peter Pauls has a bad enough reputation to warrant avoiding them. But to each their own..
just my two cents
  • #16
That may be all you need to file a complaint... but if it gets resolved .. i.e. the company refunds you... or replaces the item with something more acceptable.. it goes on no permanent record for that company as being negative.

BELIEVE ME ON THIS. We run a business, we are approached by the BBB we know how it works. They actually use that as a SELLING POINT.

"Just resolve your disputes ... and it wont' show up"

So that's it. There's no way to tell if a company actually has done wrong ... as long as they've covered their ***.
  • #17
Once again, all those posts are from 1995-1996.

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Finally, that nursery sells 10+ year old bulbs. NOW.. if this doesn't convince you... nothing will:

Tissue culture of flytraps has not been around long enough in quantity for ANYONE to have a 10+ year old venus flytrap bulb that has grown out from TC. It's JUST NOT POSSIBLE. Though culture was available, it is EXTREMEMLY unlikely that they invested the money in culturing 10 years ago... especially when it was somewhat acceptable to field collect at that time. So it's JUST NOT POSSIBLE. We have a few 5,6,7 year old plants on our hands... but that's even pretty rare... [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

The company has been in business since 1955. Times have changed, even if he field collected then, doesn't mean he does now. So, if it was acceptable 10 years ago to field collect, I would think he would have 10 year old VFT bulbs.

Now, all these plants we grow have had to come from the wild at one time. Times have changed from where humans had no concern for the environment around them. If they wanted to do something, they did. Now, we have to watch what we do because it impacts our environment more so than every before. Just because someone once did something, doesn't mean they still do it.

As for his book and mention of field collecting. Times have changed, he grew up in a time when it was acceptable to do so. It was not seen as anything wrong. People use to hunt elephants for sport, kill buffalo, use whale oil, unmanaged mass fishing, and stripping the land of trees without replanting. We have stopped hunting elephants for fun and stopped using whale oil. Fishing has become managed to keep populations up, and lands that have been cut for timber have been replanted to prevent soil erosion and to replenish the land.

So, for all you nursery owners who have replied. I noticed you are all newer than he is. So, you grew up in a different time or started your business at a different time. 1988 and 1998 are 33+ years after PP was started. A lot changes in 33 years.

As for not selling to Peter Pauls. Perhaps someone realized that the past ways have changed, field collecting is not acceptable anymore, and it was now time to do business differently.

A question:

Why do plants have to be TC to be acceptable for resale? There are other methods of propagation.
  • #18
Well I guess I was wrong in my other post that it was the last one I was going to make.. THIS is the last one.

Call him up and ask if all his plants are from artificially propagated stock. Call him up and ask to come see his nursery.

Stop ignoring the fact that it is impossible to offer the plants he does at the prices he does on purely 100% artificially propagated stock. Whether they are from TC, cuttings, seed or anything else OTHER than removed from the wild LEGALLY or ILLEGALLY.

You are free to spend your money where ever you want, and believe whatever you like. I do hope you see that there is something very fishy with PeterPauls even to this day. Regardless of his past business practices. One member of this forum has even said they have been personally contacted more than once by not one but two nurseries trying to get people to collect plants for them. Collecting plants from the wild is a strong healthy business to this day.
  • #19
I'm not sure if what I'm going to say will be constructive to the discussion, but I think that I should say it nonetheless.


You make several good points in your posts, however, there is a difference between possibility and probability.

It’s possible that PPN has had a field of vfts in their back yard for 20+ years where they get their 10+ year old rhizomes. It’s also possible that PPN buys plants from overseas in extremely high number to sell them so cheap. It is also possible that in 6 years PPN has reconciled with it’s clientele and the rest of the CP community, and is now a good business.

I do not, however, think that any of these possibilities are sufficiently probable to merit eliminating PPN’s bad reputation. The defense that you give for PPN stands on a very thin line. I believe in the benefit of the doubt, but in this case, IMO, you are stretching it too much.

Your faith in PPN is based on 2 good experiences, not enough to conclusively say that they have mended their ways.


(I would write more, but I’m not eloquent enought to say it right)
  • #20
Now, lets say that I have a 4+ acre bog in my back yard and it has the capability of producing 10000+ venus flytraps a year. Now, from what I understand, it is illegal to collect these things, unless it is on ones own property. So, it would be legal for me to sell the 10000 plants on my own property. If this is true, why wouldn't I use this bog to produce plants for resale. Each year cuttings or divisions would be used to restock the production bog.

Do any of you know if there are any privately owned bogs that are in production of VFT bulbs? What I am getting at here is that it is possible that VFTs are being farmed just like corn, wheat, etc. Someone could have a large bog, or several people can have bogs, and be farming the plants. Selling 1000s of VFTs and then replanting the harvested sections of the bog. If one has 1 acre of such land, they have that right to do so and can produce large amounts of VFTs.

What I see here is that everyone is against taking a plant from the wild. If its private property, the owner has the right to do what he wants on his land. If filling in a bog is what he wants to do, then they do it. To me, it would be more productive to use that bog to produce more plants. If you have a pond in your back yard, natural or man made, why not stock it with native fish for people to eat? If someone has a bog that otherwise is no use to them, why shouldn't they be able to use it to farm carnivorous plants ( better than filling it in ). Sphagnum moss is harvested and allowed to re-grow before the same section is re-harvested ( better management methods than in the past ).

Isn't it possible there are VFT farms that are not being recognized as such because people say they are field collecting their plants. I believe people are doing just that. Someone makes some extra money of what their land can produce naturally.

As for the people being contacted to collect plants. I am glad you did not take up the offer.

I see a big problem with the term "field collecting". People grow crops in fields. So, by the term "field collecting", one can get confused. Corn and beans are field collected because they grow in fields. We don't tissue culture corn and beans, its just not cost effective. What is wrong with the owner of a bog putting that bog into a harvesting routine and sell the plants produced? This method keeps plants growing in the bog at different stages producing many different ages of bulbs for resale.

I am not for poaching plants. I am saying that it is legal for people to turn a naturally occurring bog into productive land or otherwise. They do this by either filling in the bog or turning the bog into a renewable source of income by selling field cultivated plants.

For me to visit the nursery it would be 408.8 miles, 8 hours 12 min one way. Possible on a weekend.

This quote is taken from the Carnivorous Plant Discussion board in regards to field collecting (should be called poaching). http://www.ourcpsite.com/wwwboard/messages/452.html
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">I have heard this too, but alot of the people complaining feel that *any* field collecting should be illegal. I think that more than half their(Peter Paul's) troubles are with over-zealous ultra environmentalists.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

ICPS only has two posts in the archives about Peter Pauls. None stating problems.

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">
Wed, 11 Aug 1999

[snip] They get it [ sphagnum moss ]from a bog there in Canadiagua. There's another privately
owned bog in Mendon, NY where some collecting is allowed, if you are
willing to seed the collecting site. The Mendon bog is open to the
public, but monitored. The Canadaigua bog is not accessible to the
public, nor university students, except by special arrangement. I
have seen a lot of anger here about using natural bogs as plant
sources. While I don't want any more of them drained, I think that
using them for cp production is a way to keep the private owners
interested in maintaining them. If Peter pauls couldn't use private
bogs, I KNOW the Canadaigua one would have been drained for mosquito
control in '72. As it has been, several privately owned bogs generate
money for their owners, and have survived development.

I'm a conservationist. BUT first, I'm realistic. New York State has
thousands of bogs, and the state is not going to buy nor manage them
all.[snip][/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>