.

Hibiscus Seed Sales
Fraudulent or Legitimate?

Many people around the world are fascinated by the beautiful flowers that are shown on our website. Unfortunately, our plants are only available in the United States. Several people have told us about a person in Singapore who has sold "hibiscus seeds" on eBay and elsewhere on the internet using photos of our plants that he downloaded from our website. His claim was that the plants grown from his seeds would produce the flowers shown in the photos. Many people from all over the world have purchased these expensive seeds believing that they would flower with the blooms shown in our photos. They will not. There is no question about it - it is a biological impossibility for any hibiscus seeds to bloom with the flowers shown in our photos.


A Persistent Fraudulent Seed Seller on Ebay
Over the last two years, this seller has been banned by eBay under two different names, Absolute Botany and Jueluo Orchids House, because of complaints about his fraud. However, this same Singapore seller has reappeared on eBay again recently using the name Silla--Glamour and the store Silla-Flowerful. He is once again making fraudulent offers of hibiscus seed as well as other rare plants. We cannot say for sure that all the other plant items are fraudulent, but feel like we must warn anyone interested that the hibiscus seed offers are definitely fraudulent. The seller has refined his "pitch", and now shows a little video of hibiscus seeds being made, and makes the claim that his seeds have a "65 percent similarity rate" to the advertised photos. This is wrong. If his seeds are indeed hibiscus, they are genetically unique as are all hibiscus seeds. The chance of the flowers being "similar" to the photos is less than 1 percent in our experience, and the chance of them being "the same" is 0 percent.

If you have been defrauded by Silla--Glamour or Silla-Flowerful, we recommend that you apply through PayPal to get your money refunded. It was through the efforts of customers who demanded a refund that he was shut down under his first two names in 2007 and 2008. The other way to influence eBay to shut down this fraudulent store is to go to the feedback section on eBay for recent customers of the seller, and then to send those customers an e-mail message warning them of the fraud. This creates a rapid exchange of information among cheated customers and increases the likelihood that eBay will pay attention to the situation.

Legitimate Hybrid Hibiscus Seeds

There are legitimate sellers of hybrid hibiscus seed on the internet. Legitimate sellers inform the potential customer that each seed is genetically unique and that there is no guarantee or way to know what the flower will look like. The plants must be grown for 1 to 3 years and make their first flower before you know what the flower will look like. There are also those who offer seeds from species plants of hibiscus, such as the native American species Hibiscus moscheutos or Texas Star hibiscus. These are not hybrids and the seeds do produce genetically identical plants. All the multicolored beauties on the HVH website are hybrids of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and each seed of these is unique and genetically different from every other hybrid seed. That is why the seller in Singapore cannot show a photo of one of our varieties and claim to have seed from that specific variety. Each variety of our plants originates from just one seed. We make multiple plants by cloning the original plant using vegetative propagation methods such as rooting cuttings from that plant or grafting cuttings of that original plant onto root stock. No other seed will ever be identical to the one that produced each of our varieties.


Hibiscus cannot be grown from seed.
Each seed produces a unique offspring.
With the best hybridization methods,
only about 25% of seed produces
high quality exotic hibiscus cultivars
like this 'Island Queen.'
Growing hybrid hibiscus from seed can be fun. If you are very lucky, the seeds will germinate and the plant will grow well and make flowers that are as beautiful as the ones you see on our website. The downside is that growing from seed requires all the same space and care as growing a known, named variety, yet, in most cases the plant and flower will be flawed and inferior to the "best of the best" hibiscus varieties that we offer. The approximately 200 varieties we offer from our site have been selected after growing about 8000 seeds for evaluation. The 200 display the best qualities of flower and plant that we found after growing thousands of plants started from hybrid seed. These are typical odds for growing hibiscus hybrids from seed. It can be thrilling to see that first flower, but this thrill is balanced by giving up space and other resources to nurture a plant of unknown quality for the time it takes to see the first flower. All this applies only to legitimate hibiscus seed produced by someone with a collection of excellent varieties to serve as parents. If the parent stock is inferior then the chances of getting something great are practically nil.

If you have any questions about any of this, please post your question on the HVH Forum and Charles will be happy to answer.