Short note on neofinetia falcata cultivar disillusions

Discussion in 'Taxonomy' started by Roth, Sep 30, 2011.

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  1. Sep 30, 2011 #1

    Roth

    Roth

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    Many people know that Paphiopedilum callosum 'JAC' is one unique plant. All the plants named 'JAC' are divisions, genetically identical and of same value.

    If I sell a pot plant Paphiopedilum Maudiae vinicolor that look more or less like JAC as divisions of the original 'JAC', historical plant that has a vintage value, with all the crap and speech, people will say that I am a crook and dishonest.

    Now, neofinetia falcata 'Onamisekkai' or whatever crappy name are given are NOT cultivar. They are names that refer to a group of plants that have similar characteristics.

    That's why I always considered neofinetia falcata sellers as dishonest in Asia, pretty much all of them, maybe a couple exception, just to put a safety margin in my experience and judgment.

    the same applies to cymbidium goeringii and dendrobium moniliforme, cymbidium sinense sellers. The name given are NOT cultivars, but convenience name given to identify similar plants with similar traits, no matter what people want you to believe.

    Now, how does the business do? I can speak freely, I have been offered those plants, and though I trade a lot of orchids, I never wanted to touch this market. Each business has its tricks, but that neofinetia Fuukiran Samurai of my arsch stories lasted for too long.

    There are massive meganurseries in China and South Korea. In Korea I visited several in Jinhae, Goseong... near Seoul, Busan, many places. They do neofinetia, cymbidium goeringii and dendrobium moniliforme.

    They just make seedlings and seedlings by crossing pretty much everything around for the cymbidiums and moniliforme. The variegated are propagated by tissue culture, as it is exceedingly easy to make propagation through shoot proliferation. You can keep the variegations this way and they make hundreds of thousands of clones of neofinetia. They do not know exactly which one is which one, because they have Korean names. Many appear through mutations during the tissue culture process. Some are seed propagated, as apparently it is very clear that several neofinetia variegations can be partially seed transmitted... Many are clearly virused as well, but still tissue cultured.

    The prices are very, very cheap. I have not seen a plant over a couple USD for a clump (maybe 5-6 USD for the retail shop near the Seoul Airport... wholesale was around the 1-2 USD for sedirea japonica, the round leaf one, the I don't know the shitty name they gave with short round leaf ones, and the variegated ones, blooming size).

    After, you have a band of large traders guys from Japan that go to those nurseries, do the karaoke girls at night time that most would be disgusted to see it, and during the daytime put Japanese tags, so it looks nice 'OOOOH 'ONAMISEKKAI' and whatever. They have pre printed tags in Japanese with the Japanese name, they just have to find the plant that looks like that in those meganurseries. I saw those people, stayed at the same hotel as two of them, they had three massive boxes of Japanese tags from different nurseries from Japan, just put them in the pots in the nurseries, and export from Korea to Japan the plants back to those nurseries. The desk office talked with me, and they talked with me about the girls they were picking up, the food buffet with naked girls Bruno style, etc... Guess they are serious descendant of the Samurai Orchid teams...



    They sell them in Japan and from there to the USA. The hobbyists pays a few dozen to some hundreds USD for a pot plant that has been mass propagated through tissue culture, not for a 'division'.

    To sum up

    When you buy neofinetia falcata and dendrobium moniliform with Japanese name it is NEVER A CULTIVAR, but a NAME TO EXPLAIN MORE OR LESS HOW THE PLANT LOOKS LIKE.


    Never listen to the sellers, it is the truth directly from the larger wholesalers of those things, and I was there too. And most will be from tissue culture, mass propagation.

    There are real collectors, real nurseries in Japan who sell the real plants, some thousands USD, and they have their customers, they never sell to resellers or foreigners. But those nurseries who export all those 'Samurai blabla and 'Fuukiran' are clearly a plain scam.

    That's why I always complained about those neofinetia stories for years. Now, if some people try to do a nice business, and promote interest in neofinetias, I have to say that many plants are delightful in their own, they look very nice, some really look even very beautiful. But for God's sake, they should stop those stories with the names, ancestral blabla and 'cultivars' if they still want to look serious.
     
  2. Sep 30, 2011 #2

    Shiva

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    You call that a short note!!! :poke: But your comment is well understood.
     
  3. Sep 30, 2011 #3
    indeed:D
     
  4. Sep 30, 2011 #4

    Wendelin

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    I can believe what you said, Roth.It seems the "Neo-business" has developed a rather poor side of "honest" trading.
    My neos are seedpropagated and I never assumed that their korean names are real cultivars, and nobody told me so either..The names are given by the attributes they show and that's fine with me.
    I love these little guys by the way they look, not by the tag that sits inside the pot. I have no problem appreciating all their nice little features, even when their ancestors haven't been directly picked from a japanese tree.
     
  5. Sep 30, 2011 #5

    Erythrone

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    I totally agree with Wendelin. I love my Neos for what they are, not for their names.

    I never thought they were from division or from in vitro culture (well... I have a variegated one... maybe is it from mass culture??? Very difficult to grow, by the way.)

    But you are right. We almost always read Neofinetia falcata `Tougen` instead of Tougen...`Tomakongo ` instead of Tomakongo... There is confusion in the market and many people seem to like that confusion.
     
  6. Sep 30, 2011 #6

    Marc

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    I can agree with this. Allthough I don't have any special neo's as we speak they are joing my collection somewere in the future. I personally dont mind it how they are produced. I apreciate the form and colour and as I wasn't planning on paying for expensive Neo's it is really no big deal to me.
     
  7. Sep 30, 2011 #7
    Dear Roth,
    This seems to me the most valuable note I’ve ever red on Slippertalk since I’ve joined!!!

    Thank you for this!

    From a psychological perspective you sound very much depressed about the situation you describe, and I can see and understand where you’re coming from.
    I myself am at the very starting point of Fukiran. So, listening to what you say (and you’ll forgive my mentioning it) you very much sound like a sound, serious professional on the matter. So, I give you 100% credit as to the content of your concern, but what would I (a beginner!!! in the truest possible sense of the meaning) do about it???

    What would you say, or how should we beginners go about what we do? For now: I’m buying random plants from people who either supply what I believe I should be buying- just because I like the look of what I see-, or/ and on the other hand not having any source of useable literature I could learn form, but the snippets I pick up here and there. I’m most concerned about the lack of literature (preferably in English) that would teach me how to go about things. Other than in the U.S., people in Europe are smiled at (insanity-sort-of-equals) if they buy 10 Neos from Jerry Fisher, because we all know that he knows (as Jason does, or Glenn as well) what they are talking about. Since I don’t: what else can I do but to listen to the people I trust??? And: What needs happening to get this thing working properly, in your valued thinking?
     
  8. Oct 1, 2011 #8

    Roth

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    Very frankly, I have neofinetia, I like some of them quite a lot. I even paid quite expensive ( in Japan, through a close friend who is a pro Paph grower...) for one or two plants, just for display. I respect the people who like them, as I do like them too ( even if I prefer dendrobium moniliforme, but that's another story).

    I understand the real traditional Japanese neofinetia and the psychological behavior behind, very well. I respect it, and I understand that some plants can be highly expensive. I know too when I go in Japan, I never bargain, if people think it is that price ( as long as they are honorable sellers...), then it has to be period. I bought other expensive plants from Japan, honest, genuine trade, from very few suppliers (including in Paphs, people like Tokyo Orchid Nursery or Yamato Orchids, whatever they offer, divisions, seedlings, is genuine, the price may seem high, but the quality is outstanding, so... and if anything goes wrong, they do everything so it is right as fast as they can).

    I know as well, in Chiba, I visited a genuine neofinetia seller ( the style who does not speak english, thinks we are less educated than their culture, but fascinating anyway...). He explained to me several things :

    - The plants have an 'evolution', good or bad. I heard this from Mr. Chien, the largest trader of wild selected cymbidium ensifolium and sinense ( again a genuine seller) as well for their cymbidium. When the plant gets old, is growing, it will change from one form ( each form of leaf, color, shape, etc... has a name) to another form. Then the price can just collapse like hell, or raise like hell.

    - If one leaf of neofinetia fan is slightly smaller than the next older one, the plant looses its value, completely. They throw this kind of plant to the dustbin (not a 'cliche', but the real act).

    - The really serious people bring their most expensive neofinetia in holidays, still today in Japan, in a sort of Wardian case.

    All of this I understand. Honestly too, I got a cymbidium sinense here, every other year I sell a division to Kunming for 2000USD. By accident, but I knew everything about the value and how to estimate the value of those cymbidium, because I wanted to understand all the aspects of the trade.

    There is not much to be done yet to solve this problem ( even if I have the idea to make a large Chinese and Korean export directly one time for fun, but some people will hate me like hell), and my complaints are actually because this is not a fair trade.

    People pay let's say 100USD for a rothschildianum seedling from the Orchid Zone, it is 'expensive' but a 'real' value, and it is not that the Orchid Zone has some thousands of unnamed plants, and will put a tag when you give them 100USD... If I was selling a dendrobium cuthbertsonii for 100USD a big clump, most people would scream at how expensive it is. Dendrobium tobaense at 50USD, the same. Catasetum sanguineum at 200 USD would be a crazy price.

    Yet, all of those are genuine plants, that are not mass propagated, and for some can be extremely rare. Same for the hybrids. We enjoy as well cheaper cattleyas mericlones, or even some of the pot plant phalaenopsis, but at their prices.

    Now, the neofinetia trade as it is now, consists of less than valuable plants, whose price is pushed by comparing them with Japanese plants that are very specific, unique. There are neofinetia with the name used for the trade in the western world that really cost a fortune in Japan. But they are not the same.

    I would say that the traders try to sell a USSR Lada second hand car with the documentation of a Mercedes or Porsche, and try to explain that it is indeed, the same. The basic is the same, but the former would be way overpriced. I do not discuss that some neofinetia are really beautiful, I repeat it, but the trade has grossly inflated prices, much like the stamp trade ages ago.

    The stamp trade had a lot of books with stamps worth tens of thousands of dollars. Many were sold for half price by unscrupulous sellers. In fact, what was not told, a slight break, slight alteration, slight... microscopic mite on the back, and the stamp is not worth half the official published price, but only 1/100th of that, if anything.

    That's something that all the people who buy such plants must know, and remember before buying expensive things in this kind of field.

    Honestly too, I think that at least some traders in the USA never had direct access to Korean and Chinese nurseries, so they cannot understand exactly what they are selling, and how worth what they are selling is truly.

    One last thing, for anyone interested in doing tissue culture of those neofinetia. In the Western World, we want usually to extract the meristem and some leaf primordia to start the tissue culture process. Similar to some variegated succulents, we loose then the variegation.

    In fact, for those variegated plants, they become incredibly easy and consistant if the explant is much bigger, more like a very tiny shoot. It can be disinfected with NaDCCA. The trick is to induce lateral shoots, but no PLBs... Then you can make thousands of variegated plants, dendrobium or neofinetia...

    The dendrobium moniliforme are even easier, disinfect a cane, cut, and induce shoot to start on the nodes, then proliferate. Simple easy consistant, and mass propagation guaranteed. That's how they do in Korea too.
     
  9. Oct 1, 2011 #9

    Heather

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    This is really fascinating (and disturbing) info. Thank you!

    Guess I'll stay away from the Neos on ebay from now on. I've only bought a few but not been too impressed in the end, especially after hearing this and some other things about the sellers. (I'm really not a serious collector these days as the budgetary priorities are different than they used to be.)
     
  10. Oct 2, 2011 #10

    paphioboy

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    :eek::crazy: I wonder how many hangianum you can buy with that kind of money... :poke: :p Kidding.. Thanks for sharing interesting info...
     
  11. Oct 2, 2011 #11

    Marc

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    Xavier, would you mind if I would copy your posts to another forum? Of course I would give you credit. :)
     
  12. Oct 2, 2011 #12

    poozcard

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    Wow
    Is only what I can say
     
  13. Oct 2, 2011 #13

    poozcard

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    Thanks for sharing btw
     
  14. Oct 2, 2011 #14

    Lanmark

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    Great information! :) Yep, there are seed-grown named Neo plants and there are true divisions of the original named varieties which can be worth small or not-so-small fortunes. This has never been kept secret from me by any of the Neo vendors with whom I've done business. A small amount of reasoning by a logical person will quickly bring them to the understanding that a named varietal plant of Neofinetia falcata which has been seed-grown has also been so-named because it bears traits similar, identical or nearly-identical to the original named variety. It only stands to reason that the seed-grown plants could be of of varying quality and price.

    As for unethical practices in the biz -- sadly that seems to be the way of the world these days. Corruption abounds. Still, it's no surprise. We can only try to choose carefully and hope that those with whom we do business are not affiliated with those who are crooked. I refuse to allow the rot to infect my bushel of fun.

    Price markup is part of the process of capitalism and a competitive free market. Price gouging takes capitalism a step further. We can debate the moral ethics of these things until the cows come home, but in the end it is what it is. I choose my plants individually based upon their appearances and traits and the prices being asked. I've got some mighty fine Neos (heck, some are spectacular!) with which I am as happy as a pig in sh*t, and I have had some which disappointed me terribly. I don't know that my results would have been any different if all my plants had been exclusively true divisions of those original and sometimes-very-rare named varieties.

    I love my Neos and will continue to look for new and exciting types to grow and bloom. I promise not to spend more than I can afford, and I promise not to go postal on any vendor whose plant doesn't perform the way I think it should. :wink:
     
  15. Oct 2, 2011 #15
    :clap:
     
  16. Oct 2, 2011 #16

    Lanmark

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    Follow-up:

    My intentions are not to cast aspersions upon what Roth has to say, but I simply want to offer a bit of alternate perspective on the Neo business as it stands today.

    So what can be done to improve the situation? Well, sellers could and should clearly state the origins for each and every plant they sell, and if they don't know, they should say so. We as buyers should assume a plant is seed-grown or mass propagated unless assured otherwise by a verifiably-reputable dealer. We should guard our wallets and make wise choices. We should understand the folly of overpaying for a plant without solid documentation of its pedigree. Often spirits are high in the excitement of the discovery of something new or in the setting of a bidding war at auction. This is where self-control on the part of the buyer comes into play. Be responsible and be realistic.

    The bottom line for me remains the same: I have some fantastic plants! A few of them are true divisions of the original and very valuable Fukiran plants. Many are not, yet they are spectacularly representative of that which I could not otherwise afford. :clap:
     
  17. Oct 2, 2011 #17
    please, do not misunderstanding my clappning smilie.. it's just that I totally agree with you and could have not been said better... I also understand and support Roth position, as I do not considere that a very ethical practice, however I have had a similar experience as Lanmark, in the case that all my neo seller have been very honest and open about it...
     
  18. Oct 2, 2011 #18

    Lanmark

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    no misunderstanding :)
     
  19. Jul 26, 2013 #19

    MattWoelfsen

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    I apologize for bringing up an old post. This discussion is very informative and worth bringing up once in awhile. From 2011 to date, I think acquiring Neos has become easier, the purveyors of Neos, here in the USA are better well known, and provide plants that seem to be what they say. These plants still seem to me a bit pricey, especially plants like Manjyushage--which are usually listed around US$100.00. When you compare the price of other orchids, these Neos are expensive.

    I'm so glad a friend of mine linked this thread to me. I am a new "Neonut" and I have a better understanding of my expensive addiction! LOL
     
  20. Jul 26, 2013 #20

    rangiku

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    Matt, I think we've started collecting at an era of readily available, inexpensive orchids and this has spoiled many. Mericloning has enabled this to happen - you can find an NoID Phal at your local grocery story for $10. That's not to say you can't find very pricey novelty or species Phals over on BLO or OL. Or for that matter Paphs for $$$ at OZ or Marriott Orchids.

    I've heard from Tom Mirenda at the Smithsonian that the Taiwanese have found a way to meristem and mericlone Paphs. I'm sure prices will come way down once the protocol is either published or put in production.

    What it comes down to is caveat emptor: if you are a serious collector and plan on spending big bucks on plants, you do your due diligence. I thank Roth for this thread and perhaps we can tag along with him on a Japanese buying trip.
     

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