I have had a few messages about fake ebay seeds, so decided to do yet another post in the hoped that perhaps I can help people not get taken advantage of.
Below are some pictures that I have found on actual ebay listings, many of them have made a lot of money from selling fake seeds that don't exist. Others claim to sell seeds of things that do exist (such as orchids), but they send some other seeds. By the time you grow them out and notice something is wrong it is far too late for you to do anything about it.
Blue Venus Fly Trap Seed
Blue venus fly traps look awesome, unfortunately blue venus flytraps DO NOT exist. Someone got pictures of green venus flytraps, digitally tinkered with the colours, and then use them to steal money from people. I know a bit about breeding venus flytraps, and I know a little about breeding blue things, and I can say with complete confidence that blue venus flytraps not only don't exist but they will never exist.
Some people buy these fake ebay seeds in bulk and then on sell them at a profit. This is illegal as they don't exist. If you do this you are not only profiting from someone else's crime, you are also committing a crime. Being ignorant doesn't mean that you are not acting illegally. Stop doing it!
|Blue Venus Flytrap do NOT exist|
|Blue Venus Fly Trap - beautiful and does NOT exist|
Some of these colours exist, but many don't. Anyone who is selling seed of things that don't exist can't be trusted. Blue raspberries kind of exist, as do purple ones but they look nothing like these pictures. Red raspberries and yellow raspberries do exist. Unfortunately people sell seeds of red raspberries and claim that they are yellow, and by the time you work it out it is too late to do anything about it.
|This blue and this purple and this green do not exist!|
There are several listings on ebay for seeds of rare buddha fruit tree seed and similar things. The photos are genuine and mostly have not been tinkered with. These fruit have been grown in plastic moulds, as the fruit grows it squishes into that shape. Spending lots of money to buy seeds is a waste of time, you can buy moulds of heaps of shapes!
|Rare Buddha fruit seeds do NOT exist|
|Plastic fruit moulds DO exist, feel free to buy and use them|
|These pumpkins were grown in moulds to make this shape|
|These plastic moulds can turn cucumbers into fun shapes!|
Amazing colourful pumpkins
Ebay thieves sell pumpkin seeds and show the following picture. The blue, green, purple and this yellow do not exist. As the seller is selling a mix of different types and some don't exist who knows what they will actually send you. If you want random un-named pumpkin seeds please don't fund these thieves, get a pumpkin from the supermarket and plant its seeds.
|Blue pumpkins don't exist|
Hybrid fruit does exist, almost all fruit you know of is a hybrid of a hybrid, but the picture below is not of hybrid fruit. I have seen this picture in legitmate places and I have seen someone on ebay take the picture and claim that they are selling seeds of it. Hopefully people are smarter than to be taken in by this. This image has been changed digitally
|Hybrid fruit like this do NOT exist|
|'Watermelon man' seeds do NOT exist|
Rainbow eucalyptus (Eucalyptus deglupta)
Also known as the rainbow gum tree. This tree exists and grows in tropical places, it is the only eucalypt that is native to the northern hemisphere. As the bark peels off it leaves patches of colour. The colous are never very brilliant outside of its natural range. Most people who claim to sell seeds of this are selling fake seeds. In the off chance you get actual seeds it takes many years before you see any colour at all. Don't fund ebay thieves, don't buy seeds of these!
These Ebay thieves claim to be selling seed for blue bamboo. Don't the pictures look stunning? Unfortunately blue bamboo does not exist. Most bamboo rarely flowers and sets seed, some types only flower once every 100 years! Who knows what seeds these ebay thieves will actually send, the only thing you can be certain of is that it will NOT be blue bamboo.
|Blue bamboo does NOT exist|
|Blue bamboo - beautiful and digitally enhanced|
Wow, where do I start...the short version is NEVER buy orchid seeds from anywhere EVER.
There are some amazing orchids, and orchids can and do produce seeds, this is true so far. Technically speaking, orchids can be grown from seed.
In reality, growing orchids from seed is incredibly difficult. Many require aseptic tissue culture techniques, others require intricate mycorrhizal interactions to ever germinate, others need various treatments with specific acids etc.
Some orchids look amazing, and while they grow in the wild they have never been grown by collectors or enthusiasts. The flying duck orchid (Caleana major) is an example of this. I have seen them in the wild, they are lovely, but have never heard of anyone being able to grow them successfully long term. If someone does grow them successfully they will NOT sell seeds of them as germinating orchid seeds is beyond the abilities of a backyard grower. I don't need to tell you but if you have the skills and technology required to grow orchid seeds you certainly won't be buying them from ebay.
Actual orchid seeds are tiny, very tiny, so tiny they are difficult to see. If you ever get fooled into buying orchid seeds, and the seeds are not ridiculously tiny, then you have been sold a fake. I found a picture comparing actual orchid seed to some ebay fake orchid seeds.
|NEVER buy seed of tiny orchids|
|You won't grow orchids like this from seed|
|Fake seeds on the left, real orchid seeds (look how tiny) on the right. Look close, they are tiny specks!|
|Flying duck orchid (Caleana major) exists, do NOT buy seeds for them as you won't get them to germinate|
Will the ebay thieves stop at nothing? They claim to sell seeds from one type of berry, but show a picture of another. They change the colours digitally. They offer growing notes that are nonsensical garbage.
It drives me crazy as berry seed is not difficult to produce if you have a plant, and many berries are not overly difficult to grow from seed, but it is difficult to find anyone that actually sells berry seeds. Please don't buy any berry seed from ebay!
EDIT TO ADD: I have recently found out that in some places mulberries are also occasionally called 'blackberries' and that sometimes this may cause confusion. The pictures below were from people trying to use this confusion of common names to deliberately deceive people and steal from them. The descriptions from the ads below were clearly referring to Rubus plants and NOT any form of trees. These people are the worst kind of thief, they know that there is confusion and they try to cash in on it.
|The ebay thieves call this "Thornless blackberry" seeds - but this picture is of mulberries!!!|
|Ebay thieves were selling seed of "Long blackberries" - these are also mulberries!|
|Another ebay thief selling "Thornless Blackberry seeds" - two are the same picture of mulberries that have had colours digitally altered, one picture is of raspberries, what seed will these ebay thieves actually send?|
|The ebay thieves call this "wholesale mulberry seed" - these are not mulberries AND the colours have been altered|
The list goes on and on...
This list is not by any means all of the fake seeds that are being sold on ebay. I have made a few other posts on fake ebay seeds, they are all labelled with "things that don't exist". If you click on that label on the top right hand side of this page you should be directed to the other posts I have made on fake ebay seeds.
This kind of theft frustrates me. It means that it is more difficult for me to track down rare or unusual plants. It means that people are less likely to buy any of the unusual plants or seeds I sell. By putting up blog posts like this my page seems to have dropped way down on google searches (probably because of all the photos of fake things that I got from actual ebay ads). Hopefully I have helped a few people not get taken advantage of!
As always, if you are one of these ebay thieves, or someone who works for ebay, feel free to leave a comment and try to justify your deception.