Tea Seed/Seedling Vendor Topic

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Iizuki
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Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:23 am

Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:33 am

Vendors who sell Camellia Sinensis seedlings or seeds for planting.
Share your recommendations and experiences, good or bad.


I'll start by sharing my experience so far: Finding a store that sells some generic Camelia Sinesis seeds is easy. Finding a store that sells different varietals is exponentially harder. I'll keep on looking..
Last edited by Iizuki on Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:53 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Iizuki
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Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:36 am

If you live in the US, this seems like an excellent store: https://camforest.com/
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pedant
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Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:35 pm

interesting
Iizuki wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:33 am
Finding a store that sells different varietals is exponentially harder. I'll keep on looking..
i think the reason you're not seeing those is most cultivars are not stable (heirlooms). they're clonally propagated.

the reason for this is tea plants are slow growing compared to a tomato or something, so stabilization of desired phenos would take forever.

due to environmental protection regulations, you can't get such cuttings in many countries due to the time and expense involved in properly doing so.
this usually involves importation and subsequent propagation and study in isolation under careful supervision by licensed authorities to prevent the spread of foreign pests and pathogens. it takes a lot to certify live tissue as safe for domestic cultivation.

so for example in the US, afaik, almost all tea plants we grow here were started domestically from seed (or clones from plants germinated domestically) since seed is much easier to legally import. there are some efforts underway to develop new cultivars optimized for domestic production.

that's why you're not seeing blockbuster cultivars like yabukita, qingxin, ruby 18, TGY, etc for sale on https://camforest.com/collections/tea-camellias
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aet
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Location: Kunming ( China )

Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:41 pm

I don't know from other tea trees but last time I've tried to send seeds to a client , it didn't work well.
I've got seeds from Bulang mountain in one village from their Cha Wang ( they actually let me go over the fence and pick up the fruits from the tree ) . The seed is inside of the hard hard shell and that is also covered with sort of fruit skin which I had to peel off to prevent getting rotted stuff to parcel. It took over month to deliver ( before Covid ) and when client got it , the seeds were rotted inside the hard shell.
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Tea tree fruit with seed inside
Tea tree fruit with seed inside
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Bu Lang Cha Wang Shu - tea tree
Bu Lang Cha Wang Shu - tea tree
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Iizuki
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Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:34 pm

Yeah you're probably right @pedant. It seems quite unlikely that a store, that ships a wide selection of varietals, will be found. Still, I don't think that it's unreasonable to stumble updon a store that just happens sell one type of seeds from a nearby farm, and they actually disclose the origin. Another possibility would be that something pops up from the chinese side of the internet.

I asked Camforest for EU shipping and they said that it's possible to send seeds, but it requires a phytosanitary inspection which costs $65. Meanwhile I grabbed their (e)book about growing tea in western countries.


That's really unfortunate @aet :cry:. A nice idea tho. It shows that you don't necessarily need an actual store. Being acquainted with someone who lives close to actual tea plants can very well be enough.
If you're such person, please come forward!
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wave_code
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Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:03 am

I haven't really gone out of my way to look very much, but this is the only place in Europe I've seen selling specific plants/seeds- https://shop.liu-tea-art.com/produkt-ka ... tee-samen/
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Iizuki
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Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:00 am

Nice find @wave_code!
.m.
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Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:19 am

You may try to contact Petr Sic https://www.sicaj.cz/ He "runs" a small teagarden in Georgia, and works with local farmers/producers, so maybe he can get you some Georgian tea seeds if he's there during the right season. He offered some in the past https://www.facebook.com/groups/3229740 ... 200719217/
mbanu
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Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:58 am

You might have luck asking for help at the various tea research institutes. The ones in former British colonies do most of their research in English, so they will likely be able to suggest sources for seeds.

A few examples:

Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka: https://www.tri.lk/
Tea Research Association Tocklai (Assam, India): https://www.tocklai.org/
UPASI Tea Research Foundation (Nilgiri, India): http://www.upasitearesearch.org/
Tea Research Institue of Tanzania: http://trit.or.tz/
Tea Research Foundation of Central Africa (Malawi): https://www.trfca.net/
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Iizuki
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Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:50 am

mbanu wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:58 am
You might have luck asking for help at the various tea research institutes.
Good idea! Hadn't thought of that.
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