Seed List

Following are the varieties we have offered, listed by botanical name.
If there is no price listed, then the item is not currently in stock.
If you want something specific, please contact us and we will advise as to availability.

ADANSONIA digitata – Baobab, monkey bread tree, dead rat tree
Tropical African tree growing to 60 ft. known for its huge trunk that can grow to 30 ft. in diameter or more with old age. The young seedlings start out inconspicuously before starting to show a “bottle” shape around 2 years of age.
Please contact us for availability and current price.


AKEBIA quinata – Chocolate vine
An interesting shrubby vine that is hardy to –32°C. Evergreen in warmer zones. The leaves are digitately compound with 5 leaflets. Purple flowers are 3-petaled and very fragrant. The 5 in. purple fruits are fleshy pods that split open when ripe, revealing a white gelatinous pulp with a unique tapioca-like flavour. Seeds require cold treatment/stratification to germinate. Zone 4.
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AKEBIA trifoliata – Three-leaf akebia, chocolate vine
Similar to A. quinata but leaves tend to being broadly elliptic and the smaller flowers are unscented. When planted with another variety of Akebia, cross-pollination will occur which is needed to develop the sausage-like 4-5 in. fruits. May be grown in full sun or partial shade. All Akebia species retain their attractive leaves through most of the winter, and are excellent for growing on walls, fences, or trellis. Full sun or partial sun. Hardy to 24 degrees.
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ALLOCASUARINA torulosa / A. Casuarina – Forest she-oak, koondeeba
Native to E. Australia, this small conical tree grows up to 60 ft. It has very fine, drooping, needle-like foliage that is distinctly reddish purple, with brown corky bark and glossy 1 in. cones. The wood is attractively marked, close-grained & makes nice veneers. Attracts seed-eating birds.
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ANIGOZANTHOS flavidus – Tall kangaroo paw, Albany kangaroo paw
Native to West Australia, this half-hardy perennial has peculiar woolly, curved, yellow-green 1 1⁄4 in. flowers on 4-6 ft. branching spikes from summer to fall. Nectar-seeking birds are attracted to them. Cut flowers are excellent fresh or dried. The sword-like leaves grow from a thick root-stock. The roots are said to be eaten roasted.
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ANIGOZANTHOS humilis – Cat’s paw, Quoll’s paw
Also native to Western Australia, this is the smallest of the species. Large clusters of 2 in. paw-like flowers in shades of yellow, orange, and red. The 6-8 in. leaves are long and narrow.
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ANIGOZANTHOS Manglesii – Kangaroo paw
This is the floral emblem of Western Australia. Stunning, vivid red and green woolly 3 in. flowers really do resemble kangaroo paws. Nectar-seeking birds are attracted to them. The cut flowers are excellent fresh or dried. Grows 3-6 ft. Prefers light soil and will not tolerate cold wet areas. Will survive to Zone 8.
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ANNONA Cherimola – Cherimoya, custard apple
Small subtropical tree growing to 25 ft. with 1 in. fragrant flowers and oval, pointed 4-10 in. leaves that are also fragrant. Delicious light green fruit with creamy white flesh tasting of pineapple/banana, weighing from 12-32 ounces. Smooth, fleshy scales cover the outside of the skin. Best eaten fresh. Native to the Andes. Can be trained on trellises like grapes or espaliered against a wall. Hardy to about 25° F.
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ANNONA muricata – Soursop, guanabana
Attractive tropical tree growing to 20 ft. Shiny green leaves are obovate and leathery. Fruits can weigh over 5 lb. and are covered with short fleshy spines. Widely cultivated in the tropics. Used in sherbets and refreshing drinks.
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ANNONA squamosa – Sugar apple
Similar to A. muricata but the taste is sweeter. The smaller fruits are covered with coarse overlapping scales instead of spines.
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ARALIA spinosa – Devil’s walking stick
Back by popular demand. A small prickly tree or shrub native to North America growing to about 12 ft. It grows from new shoots developed at the base, forming a dense thicket of prickly impenetrable branches. White flowers form in huge panicles at the end of summer developing into purple-black berries favoured eating by birds in the fall.
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ARISTOLOCHIA elegans – Calico flower
Slender twiner with evergreen kidney-shaped foliage. Striking unusual large 3 in. flowers are deeply mottled and veined with purple, white and yellow, followed by elegant ornamental 3 in. seed pods. This variety is native to Brazil. Graceful and free flowering vine for the cool greenhouse or outdoors in S. California and Florida.
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ASTRAGALUS crassicarpus – Ground plum
Native to the great Plains of North America this is a hardy perennial growing to a height of 15 in. It has 6 in. feathery, pinnate leaves and violet-purple flowers, varying to cream colour, in short racemes. The inch-long round pods resemble green plums and are eaten like snow peas, either raw or cooked.
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AVERRHOA carambola – Starfruit, bilimbing
Beautiful evergreen tree with delicate, small pinnate foliage that folds up when it has had enough light. Known for its increasingly popular yellow-skinned fruit – a mildly astringent, crispy 5-sided fruit, with a flavour similar to the popular “juicy fruit” gum. The tree grows very well indoors with bright light.
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BACTRIS Gasipaes – Peach palm, pejibaye, pewa
A palm native to South America growing 65-100 ft. with stiff spines up the trunk. It is grown for its orange-to-purple fruit, 1-2 in. long, which must be cooked before eating, and its terminal bud, the “heart-of-palm” which are both consumed as vegetables. It is sometimes planted as shade cover for coffee. Seedlings bear fruit in 6-8 years under optimal growing conditions. Full sun.
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BIXA orellana – Annatto, achiote, lipstick tree, urucu
Small tree to 20 ft. with 2 in. white-to-pink flowers. Reddish brown, spiny capsules contain red seeds used as food colouring and body paint. Native to tropical America. Hardy to Zone 10b.
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BRACHYCHITON discolor – Lacebark bottle tree, hat tree
Native to NW Australia this tree has a peculiar swollen trunk (this appears even in seedlings) and can reach 100 ft. It is grown for its odd shape as well as for the showy masses of large, bell-shaped pink, 2 in. long flowers. The 4-8 in. leaves are palmate in shape. Does best in warm areas. Easy to grow.
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CAPPARIS spinosa – Caper, caperbush
Trailing, half-hardy spiny shrub growing 3-5 ft. Has round leaves and large beautiful white flowers with four round, crinkled petals, each 2 in. long, topped with a puff of up to 100 prominent long, violet stamens. Blooms June to September, followed by 1 1⁄2 in. oval fruits, “caper berries.” Grown extensively in the Mediterranean for the unopened flower buds which are pickled forming the familiar “capers” of commerce. The fruit are also used, often pickled.
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CARICA papaya – Papaya, paw paw, tree melon
Tropical succulent tree, growing to about 25 ft., grown for its large delicious fruit. Leaves are palmate and resemble snowflakes. The white flowers are fragrant. The large oval fruits of this “melon tree” grow in clusters just below the leaves. Makes a very handsome indoor ornamental tree. May bear fruit in 1 year under ideal conditions. We offer one of the “Solo” self-pollinating varieties. Hardy to Zone 10b.
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CARISSA grandiflora – Natal plum, amatungulu
In the tropics this shrub may reach 18 ft. but indoors it may only reach 2 ft. Various cultivars exist that range from small and compact to spreading and prostrate. The leaves are small and disc-shaped. Flowers are white and aromatic. Bright red 2 in. fruits are edible and often used in jellies and preserves.
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CASSIA alata – Candlebush, King of the Forest
A small tropical shrub reaching up to 8 ft. with brilliant yellow 1-1/2 in. wide 5-petaled fragrant flowers growing in 4-12 in. spikes. Huge dark green, glossy, pinnate leaves up to 3 ft. long. Interesting winged pods. Fast growing and short-lived. The leaves are used throughout the tropics for skin ailments. The bark is used for tattooing in Africa. Hardy to Zone 8b.
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CERATONIA siliqua – Carob, carruba, St. John’s bread, locust bean, algarroba bean
Slow growing, stout tree with leathery pinnate foliage, growing to 50 ft. Cultivated for its brown pods containing a pulp with a sweet, chocolate-like flavour, often used as a commercial chocolate substitute. Carob gum is obtained from the seeds. Native to the Mediterranean area.
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CHAMAEROPS humilis – European fan palm
The only palm native to Europe, it is widely cultivated in the Mediterranean lands as a clumping landscape plant, or grown in containers. Can grow to a height of 20 ft. Prefers a rich loamy soil and thrives in full sun or part shade. Hardy to Zone 9.
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CHENOPODIUM capitatum – Strawberry sticks, strawberry spinach, blitum
An annual woody herb growing to a height of 2 ft. with holly-like leaves and edible red, straw-berry-like fruit growing along the stems. Fruit has a flavour resembling mulberries. The edible leaves are used like spinach. An interesting plant for the landscape, as a border plant, in large baskets or planters.
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CHENOPODIUM giganteum – Giant tree spinach, purple goosefoot, lambsquarters
A large, tall annual herb growing 6-8 ft. A wild relative to spinach, the young leaves are a striking iridescent magenta-red with a crystalline red powder. The red flowers grow in long red panicles. The stem is striped red and is very strong for its light weight due to a spiral twist. Birds are fond of the seeds. The leaves can been used like spinach, tender younger leaves are good raw in salads.
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CITRUS aurantifolia Swingle – Key lime, West Indian Lime
Small, bushy tree, rarely taller than 12 feet with slender branches armed with short spines. Its dense foliage consists of small, pale green, blunt-pointed leaves with narrowly winged petioles (leaf stalks). These are smaller than regular limes and have a distinctive aroma. Seedlings could bear fruit in as few as 5 years.

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CITRUS x meyeri – Meyer lemon
Meyer lemon trees are around 6 to 10 ft tall at maturity, though they can be pruned smaller. Their leaves are dark green and shiny. Young leaves and shoots are dark purple. The fragrant flowers are white with a purple base. Meyer lemons are rounder than a true lemon with a slight orange tint when ripe. It has a sweeter, less acidic flavor than the more common lemon and a fragrant edible skin. A tree grown from seed often begins fruiting in four years.

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COFFEA arabica – Coffee, java, Joe
Tropical shrub becoming increasingly popular as an indoor plant. Glossy leaves. Small white flowers are fragrant and self-pollinating. May produce red “cherries,” each containing 2 coffee “beans” within 5 years. We ship the equivalent of a 4” potted plant, bare-root, damp wrapped.
Live plant   $ . . . . . . . . . . 10.00 each
Shipped by EXPRESS SHIPPING ONLY
Please contact us for exact shipping cost to your postal code.


COIX lachryma-jobi – Job’s tears
A reed-like ornamental grass growing 3-6 ft., native to tropical Asia. This tender perennial is grown as an annual, bearing unusual teardrop-shaped bead-like seeds, shiny grey to pearly white in colour. Widely used as beads in rosaries and rattles. The seeds are edible and can be ground for bread or made into beer.
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COLOCASIA esculenta – Eddo, taro, dasheen, elephant ear, malanga, arbi
Grown in Africa and the West Indies for its starchy tuber, a classic ingredient in “pepperpot.”
Makes an attractive houseplant. Its dark green heart-shaped leaves grow on long stalks, which could be pale green or shades of pink or purple. Can also be grown as a pond plant, but must be lifted before frost. Tubers up to 2” in diameter. Likes constant moisture. Full sun to part sun.
Per tuber . . . . . . . . . . $ 4.00
Shipped by EXPRESS SHIPPING ONLY
Please contact us for exact shipping cost to your postal code.


CROTALARIA spectabilis – Showy rattlebox
A showy annual tropical herb from Asia growing 4-6 ft. Bright yellow 3/4 in. flowers with purple streaks grow in foot-long racemes and form inflated, rattling pods giving rise to its name.
Good in the greenhouse, as many can be flowered in a 6 in. pot. Makes long lasting cut flowers. Used in erosion control and as a soil builder. Naturalized north to Virginia.
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CURCUMA domestica, c. longa – Turmeric, nghe
Similar to ginger, but the leaves are wider, and lily-like. Rarely flowers but is grown for its orange-coloured rhizome. This south-east Asian plant is extensively used in curry powder for its flavour and colour, but is also used as a yellow dye for food colouring.
Per rhizome. . . . . . . . . . $ 4.00

Shipped by EXPRESS SHIPPING ONLY
Please contact us for exact shipping cost to your postal code.


CYNARA scolymus – Artichoke, globe artichoke
This tender perennial in the thistle family produces the familiar, edible flower bud, or “choke,” growing to a height of about 6 ft. The purple flowers, if left to develop, are 3-6 in. in diameter, stunning in bouquets and can be dried for use in floral arrangements. Chokes are ready for harvest in late fall (90-100 days before flowering). Can be overwintered. Full sun. Zones 8-9.
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CYPHOMANDRA betacea – Tree tomato, tamarillo
Shrubby, fast-growing tree to 10 ft. Fruits are long-stemmed and egg-shaped, similar to tomatoes in taste. Large heart-shaped leaves have a musky odour not unlike peanut butter. Fragrant pink 3⁄4 in. flowers. Fruit colour varies from yellow to orange to burgundy. May bear after two years.
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CYRTOSTACHYS lakka – Sealing-wax palm
Native to the Malay Peninsula and Borneo, this delicate 15 ft. “feather” palm is grown for its stunning bright red stems. The red sap is used as sealing wax. Requires constant warmth, bright light and high humidity year-round which may be difficult to maintain but worth the effort.
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DALEA spinosa – Smoke tree
Striking ashy-grey, leafless, intricately-branched spiny tree growing to 30 feet. Very fragrant dark blue to violet flowers in dense 1-2 in. racemes bloom in June and July. Found in sandy washes of Southwestern deserts. Great in a container for the cactus or succulent garden.
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DASYLIRION acrotriche – Green Mexican sotol
A yucca-like Mexican evergreen with narrow 3 ft. leaves with hooked edges, which form in large round heads on a trunk up to 3 ft. tall. The striking flower-spikes grow to 15 ft. when mature; male and female flowers are borne on separate plants.
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DECAISNEA Fargesii – Blue bean, dead man’s fingers
Native to Asia, this small multi-trunked tree, Decaisnea rarely exceeds 20 ft. in height, with a similar spread. The bright green pinnate leaves, as long as 3 ft., emerge in mid-spring. The pendent panicles of blooms, up to 18 in. long, have sparse bright green-yellow petal-less flowers, up to 2 in. in diameter. The fruit, up to 6 in. in length and resembling fat bean-pods, turn dull metallic blue in the autumn. The gel surrounding the seeds is edible. Hardy to -15°C (5°F), Zone 5.
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DELONIX regia – Royal poinciana, flamboyant tree, flame tree
Medium-sized tropical tree grown for its showy yellow, orange or scarlet flowers. Grows 30 to 40 ft. high with 60 ft. spread. Native to Madagascar, naturalized throughout many tropical and subtropical countries. 2 ft. long leaves and seed pods. Nick seed to germinate in 2-6 weeks. Hardy to Zone 10b. Specify Yellow (from Belize) or Red when ordering.
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DIMOCARPUS longan – Longan, dragon’s eye
This evergreen tree is native to Southern China and will grow to 30 ft. in height. Leaves are alternate, paripinnate with 4-10 leathery leaflets. New growth is wine-coloured and showy. Fruits are round, up to about 1 in. diameter, and grow in drooping clusters. Resembling the lychee, the fruit is smoother and slightly pebbled. The shell is also thin and brittle, yellowish-brown to reddish-brown in colour. Fast germinating seed loses its viability quickly.
Per packet. . . . . . . . . . $ 4.00


ELEOCHARIS dulcis – Chinese water chestnut, ma-tai
Not actually a nut, this member of the sedge family (Cyperaceae) is cultivated in China, Taiwan and Thailand in shallow marshes and flooded fields. Grow it in your pond or barrel on the patio, lift tubers in fall after frost for a tasty treat. The hollow, cylindrical leaves grow up to 3 ft. Grown for its tuber or corm, it is used fresh, or cooked in soups, stews.
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ERIOBOTRYA japonica – Loquat, naspoli, níspero, Japanese medlar
Indigenous to southeastern China, introduced to Japan, and now cultivated in California, Florida, Italy, Spain, and parts of South America. Foliage is glossy and ribbed, covered lightly with a soft, woolly down. White flowers are fragrant. Fruit resembles apricots in colour, size and texture. Flavour is suggestive of nectarine and apricot. Seedlings may bear fruit after 8 years. Very fast germinating seeds.
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EUCALYPTUS cinerea – Silver dollar eucalyptus
Medium-sized subtropical tree. Branches are often seen in floral arrangements. The grey-green oval leaves grow on stiff stems, and are popular for their familiar scent. Tiny yellow flowers. Seeds are very fine. Hardy to Zone 9.
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EUCALYPTUS tetraptera – Square-fruited mallee, four-wing mallee
Native to west Australia, this gum is a scrambling shrub growing to about 10 ft. Leaves are somewhat leathery. The showy flowers are pink to red to 3 in. long, developing into unusual 4-winged pods, useful in dry flower arrangements. Once established it could stand some frost. Part to full sun.
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FORTUNELLA margarita – Kumquat, Nagami kumquat, oval kumquat
Originally from China, now commercially grown in USA, South Africa, and Israel, this slow-growing, compact, shrubby tree grows to about 15 ft. The sweetly fragrant white flowers are borne singly or 1-4 together in the leaf axils. The fruit is typically 3⁄4 in. in diameter by 11⁄2 in. long. The thick peel is bright orange and sweet, the pulp is sub-acid. Hardy to Zone 9.
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GUNNERA manicata – Giant gunnera, giant rhubarb
Similar to above, but even larger! Originating from south Brazil, the gigantic leaves can reach 5-10 ft. across rising from a cluster in the crown. The flower cluster can be up to 1 ft. thick and 3-4 ft. tall. Prefers rich moist soil and part shade location. Best grown near a pond to ensure a steady water supply. Seeds are difficult to germinate, but worth the result.
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HELIANTHUS tuberosus – Jerusalem artichoke, sunchoke, topinambur
Vigourous perennial in the sunflower family, growing to 6 ft. or more. It is cultivated for the edible tubers which form in late August. The deep yellow 4 in. flowers bloom in late summer until frost. The tubers should be harvested after frost and can be eaten fresh in salads or cooked like potatoes. Plant about 3-5 in. deep in fertile sandy loam. Full sun. Zones 4-9.
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HIBISCUS cannabinus – Kenaf
It is an annual fibre crop with stems resembling bamboo. In 150 days it may reach 6 ft.
It produces creamy white flowers and palmately compound leaves. Several newspapers are printed on paper produced from this plant. The quality of the paper is proving to be equal or superior to today’s traditional newsprint. In warmer regions it may be grown as a wind shelter or as a living fence. It is used as a forage crop, in roof matting, particle board, etc. Grown in the landscape or as an indoor ornamental it would not go unnoticed. Germinates in 1-2 weeks.
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HYLOCEREUS undatus – Dragonfruit, pitahaya, Queen of the Night, strawberry pear
This south Asian member of the cactus family may be terrestrial or epiphytic. Now grown for its fruit in California. Its 3-sided fleshy, green, multi-branched stems may reach 20 ft. in length, arching over rocks, climbing into trees or clinging to walls with its strong aerial roots. It is a night-blooming cactus with fragrant white, bell-shaped flowers. The non-spiny fruit is oblong-oval, 2-4 in. in diameter and 4-6 in. long, covered with fuchsia-coloured fleshy scales and can weigh up to 3 lb. Within is sweet white or fuchsia pulp with innumerable tiny black seeds.
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JACARANDA mimosifolia – Jacaranda, green ebony
Medium-large tree, grows to 50 ft. or more. Deciduous in early spring. Native to Brazil and Argentina. Grown for its lacy, feathery leaves and 2 in. blue flowers. The wood is fragrant and is used for general carpentry work. Germinates in 1-6 weeks.
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KAEMPFERIA galanga – Lesser galangal, finger root, dwarf ginger lily
This stemless member of the ginger family, native to southeast Asia, is grown for its rhizome. The leaves grow to about 6 in. long by 3 in. wide, and are green with a reddish base. Small pink flowers that last only a day are produced at the leaf base. This rhizome is commonly used in Chinese medicine, Vietnamese and Thai cuisine.
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LABLAB purpureus – Hyacinth bean
A long-lived perennial vine that flowers continuously in the tropics where it is an important legume. The 21⁄2 in. purple/white pea-like flowers are edible, as are the pods, leaves, and dried seeds. It may be grown as a flowering vine indoors with warm greenhouse conditions or as an annual outdoors. Needs trellis for support.
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LEPTOSPERMUM scoparium – New Zealand tea tree, manuka, leptospermum
Native to southeast Australia and New Zealand, this is one of the hardiest varieties valued in the florist trade for its profusion of pink and white flowers. This compact shrub grows 3-12 ft. The leaves are needle-like and look somewhat sparse. Captain Cook made a medicinal tea from them to prevent scurvy.
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LITCHI chinensis – Lychee, litchee
Slow-growing evergreen tree native to southern China. Leathery leaves are acuminate, elliptic-oblong to lanceolate up to 9 in. long. Fruits grow in clusters of 2-30. The thin, warty outer skin is brittle and varies in colour from pink-rose to deep red. It is easily peeled to reveal a fleshy white-to-pink aril, reminiscent of a juicy grape, surrounding a single, glossy brown seed. The lychee is now cultivated around the world with harvests from Israel, South Africa and Asia. Seeds are shipped fresh.
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LUFFA aegyptiaca/cylindrica – Loofa sponge, sponge gourd, dishcloth gourd
Like a cucumber, this climbing vine is grown for the fruit, eaten when young and tender, but at maturity becomes quite large and fibrous. After drying and removing the outer skin and the seeds, it may be cut to desired size and used as a sponge.
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LYCOPERSICON hirsutum – Wild downy tomato
This is a wild relative of the tomato from Chile, with small, green, downy fruits turning brown at maturity. Forms a large scrambling bush to 6 ft wide, with many yellow flowers. The fruits are edible, the pulp a good tomatillo substitute in sauces. Germinates in 1-7 weeks.
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MANGIFERA indica – Mango
A tropical evergreen reaching 50 ft. under ideal conditions. The lanceolate leaves are a lustrous deep green. Supple new growth is burgundy. The fragrant yellow-to-red flowers are borne in terminal sprays. Although each flower cluster has hundreds of blooms, only a few will set fruit. As a result, the fruit dangle at the ends of stringlike stalks. Seedlings may bear fruit in 4-5 years. Named variety of seed shipped chitted/pre-sprouted and ready to plant.
1 seed per packet. . . . . . . . . . $10.00

Shipped by EXPRESS SHIPPING ONLY
Please contact us for exact shipping cost to your postal code.


MANILKARA zapotilla – Sapodilla, chickoo, naseberry, sapota
Highly ornamental evergreen tree, native to central America. Introduced to the Old World tropics in the 1800’s where it has been widely cultivated, especially in India. It is grown for its rusty-brown fruit which tastes like brown sugar and has the texture of a pear. Wild trees, when tapped, yield a gummy, milky latex called “chicle” – the original base for chewing gum. Seedlings may bear fruit in 5-8 years.
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MELALEUCA alternifolia – Tea-tree, paperbark tree
Small Australian evergreen tree grown for its attractive layered bark and the production of the world-famous antiseptic “Tea-Tree” oil distilled from its leaves. Germinates in 1-6 weeks.
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MELOTHRIA scabra – Mexican sour gherkin, Mouse Melon
A fast-growing annual vine from Mexico. It has lobed leaves and produces egg-shaped inch-long green and white, striped or mottled fruit resembling tiny watermelons. Often pickled or eaten fresh. Germinates in 1-2 weeks. Treat as a tender annual.
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MUSA acuminata – Dwarf banana, plantain
Originating in Asia, this tree-like herb can grow to a height of 20 ft. with 9 ft. long, 2 ft. wide leaves – the definitive tropical look. The green leaves can be flecked with darker green, and can be purple underneath. M. acuminata is one of the parents of the many edible seedless hybrid varieties. The variety here originates in south China, varying in height from 6 in. to 9 ft., with wide, 41⁄2 ft. long leaves. Produces edible yellow 5 in. fruits.
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MUSA acuminata Cavendishi – Dwarf Cavendish banana
A specific dwarf variety of M. acuminata that grows only 6-10 ft under tropical conditions. This short variety is great for the patio planter or sunny window. It has short, broad leaves and can produce edible yellow 5 in. fruits when mature. After that new “pups” emerge at the base and the fruit bearing stems wither.

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MUSA Ensete, ensete ventricosum – Abyssinian banana
One of the largest bananas, the size may be from 10-30 ft. Leaf stems grow lower on the purple or purplish-brown stained pseudo-stem causing a wider overall look. The green leaves may grow to 16 ft. long and 41⁄2 ft. wide. The 6 in. fruits are rather dry and contain a few large marble-sized black seeds. The flower heads and seeds can be cooked and eaten. Although native to Ethiopia, this is one of the hardier varieties of banana.
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MUSA ornata – Flowering banana
This native of Burma/Myanmar may grow 5-9 ft. Cultivated primarily as an ornamental because of its attractive flowering inflorescence of pink, yellow and orange. The underside of the leaves is usually a maroon colour. The fruits are quite seedy with pea-sized seeds.
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MUSA sikkimensis – Darjeeling banana
Native to Darjeeling and the Sikkim region in the north-Indian Himalayas, this is one of the hardiest bananas. Grows to about 14 ft. Leaves are purple underneath, and are variegated maroon on top when new. The fruit are edible and sweet, but contain numerous large inedible seeds. Germination can take 1-6 months and may be slow and erratic. Full sun. Zone 8.
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MUSA velutina – Pink velvet banana
This ornamental banana grows to about 6 ft., with 41⁄2 ft. long leaves that are dark green above and lighter underneath with a red mid-rib. Flower bracts are pale pink outside and darker inside. The fruits are small, about 3 in. long, with white pulp and small black seeds.
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MUSA zebrina – Blood banana
This ornamental dwarf variety of M. acuminata, grows to 4 ft. and is known for its colourful leaves – green with wine-red mottling on top and maroon underneath. The yellow fruits are about 5 in. long, with white to yellow pulp and small black seeds.
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MUSELLA lasiocarpa – Golden lotus banana, Chinese yellow banana
This rare, hardy Chinese banana is grown for its bright yellow, long-lasting upright flowers, which may last up to 9 months. Grows to a height of about 6 ft. Full sun. Mature plants may be hardy to 10°F if mulched sufficiently. Zone 7-10.
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NELUMBO nucifera – Lotus, Hindu lotus, sacred lotus, water lotus, sacred bean
Large aquatic plant native to south Asia. Grown for its huge 4-10 in. fragrant pink flowers, seed pods and roots. Round leaves are 1-3 ft. across. Both seeds and tubers are eaten. Ornamental seed pods are used in flower arrangements. Can be grown in large tubs or whiskey barrels. Germinates in 2-4 weeks. Not hardy. Must be overwintered indoors. Seeds ship in early Spring.
Per packet (8 seeds) . . . . . . . . . . $ 4.25


NYMPHAEA caerulea – Sacred Egyptian blue lotus
Native to North and central Africa, this is the sacred lotus of the ancient Egyptians, important in their cosmology, and used by them as a sedative. Pale blue 6 in. flowers rise above the water. Large round floating leaves. Can be grown in your pond, in large tubs or barrels. Not hardy. Must be overwintered indoors.
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OLEA europaea – European olive, common olive
Slow-growing evergreen tree 25 ft. or more with long leathery leaves that are silvery underneath. Trunk gets very large and gnarled with age. Grown in warm regions worldwide for production of olives and olive oil. Seeds must be scarified prior to planting. Hardy to Zone 9.
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PAULOWNIA tomentosa – Empress tree, royal paulownia
This ornamental Chinese tree grows 30 to 70 ft. and has showy, fragrant, 2 in. long, pale
violet-blue foxglove-like flowers, which are striped yellow and spotted inside. They grow in large upright pyramidal clusters to 10 in. long in April and May, before the leaves have fully emerged.
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PHOENIX canariensis – Canary Island date palm
Originating in the Canary Islands, now naturalized in California, this massive palm grows to about 50 ft. with fronds 20 ft. long. Although edible, the yellowish fruit are small and dry, growing in large clusters. Makes a good tub plant. Seedlings may take 6-10 years to fruit. Thrives in most well-draining soils. Prefers full sun. Seeds germinate in 1-4 months with bottom heat.
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PHOENIX dactylifera – Date palm
Originating from the lands around the Persian Gulf, the date palm is the only palm cultivated for its fruit. There are at least 1500 documented varieties. It is a tall palm growing about 1 ft. per year, reaching 20 ft. in 15 years, depending on conditions. At maturity it may grow to 120 ft. Makes a good container plant. Seedlings may take 6-10 years to fruit. Thrives in most well-draining soils. Demands full sun and warm temperatures.
Per packet. . . . . . . . . . $ 4.00


PHOENIX Roebelenii – Pygmy date palm
Originating in Laos this is a tiny palm growing to only 6 ft. with small, 1-4 ft. fronds and tiny black fruit. Slow growing. Makes a good container plant. Thrives in most well-draining soils. Grows best in part or full shade, does well indoors. Seeds germinate in 1-4 months with bottom heat.
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PHORMIUM tenax cv. Atropurpureum – New Zealand flax
Tender perennial native to New Zealand. Grown for its 6 ft. sword-shaped reddish-purple leaves, stunning in the landscape. The dull-red flowers grow in large branching spikes. Fast grower in almost any soil and tolerates a variety of conditions. Attractive specimen plant.
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PHYSALIS ixocarpa – Tomatillo, husk tomato, jamberry
Native to Mexico, this plant is perennial, but is grown like a tomato as an annual in our climate, reaching a height of 6 ft. The yellow flowers develop into yellow- or purple-coloured fruit up to 2 in. in diameter, each completely encased in a papery brown husk. Eaten fresh or cooked in “salsa verde.” 60 days to harvest. Various cultivars are now available.
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PHYSALIS peruviana – Goldenberry, Cape gooseberry, poha
This small shrubby Andean plant produces papery husks resembling Chinese lanterns. The attractive husks contain a marble-sized yellow-to-orange fruit which is semi-tart and pleasing in taste. Easily grown outdoors but requires bright light and warmth. May also be grown indoors in bright light.
Per packet. . . . . . . . . . $ 4.00


PHYSALIS pruinosa – Yellow groundcherry
Related to the Chinese lantern plant, this annual grows to a height of 3 ft. and produces small 3⁄4 in. yellow fruit inside a papery husk, similar to the tomatillo. It is sweet in taste, similar to the popular “juicy fruit” gum. Culture is like a tomato. Fruit drop to the ground when completely ripe. 70 days to harvest. Use raw or cooked in sauces, jams and preserves.
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PSIDIUM guajava – Guava
Short tropical tree to 20 ft. grown for its edible fruit. Much branched with leaves that are elliptic and corrugated, hairy underneath. The sweet, green-to-golden fruits have a musky, penetrating odour and can be round or pear-shaped, with pink or yellow flesh. Guavas are eaten fresh, juiced, cooked, and preserved, mostly as jelly. Hardy to Zone 10.
Per packet. . . . . . . . . . $ 4.00


PUNICA granatum – Pomegranate
This small tree to 20 ft. is very attractive when kept pruned. Many small leaves produced on willowy stems. Salmon-red blossoms may occur when only 1 ft. tall. Red-skinned fruits are edible. Commercially grown in California, Europe and some Middle Eastern countries.
Per packet. . . . . . . . . . $ 4.00


RICINUS communis – Castor bean, palma Christi
A fast growing, striking tree-like herb to 15 ft., 20-40 ft. in the tropics, often grown in gardens for its tropical look. The handsome leaves are up to 3 ft. wide, palmately divided into 5-11 crenate lobes. Often found as an ornamental and even seen in northern zones in summer. Commercial source of castor oil. Seeds are poisonous if eaten. Germinates in 1-4 weeks.

R. communis “New Zealand purple”
A medium-sized showy variety with large deep purple leaves and stems growing to 8 ft.
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R. communis “sanguineus
Variety with blood-red stems and leaves.
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R. communiszanzibarensis
One of the larger varieties growing 6-15 ft. with bright green leaves and white veins.
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SABAL minor – Dwarf palmetto
Small fan palm to 9 ft. with blue-green, 4 ft. wide leaves. Small white flowers and black fruits. Germinates best with bottom heat in 30-40 days. 2 to 4 weeks cold treatment may help.
In cold climates, grow in tubs the first few years and then plant out in a sheltered spot.
One of the hardiest of all palms withstanding temperatures to –10°F, Zone 5.
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SABAL palmetto – Cabbage palm, cabbage tree
A popular, slow growing spineless palm reaching variably 20 to 90 ft. The leaves are palmate, with a spread of about 6 ft. Old leaf stem scars form a criss-cross pattern on the rough, bare trunk. Full sun. Hardy from North Carolina to Florida, Zone 9a.
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SAMANEA saman – Monkeypod, rain tree, saman
A large fast-growing tree, native to tropical America, growing to 80 ft. and known for its huge, spreading canopy. Bipinnate leaves fold up in the evening. Flowers are yellow with pink stamens. Fruits are straight or slightly curved pods.
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SESBANIA Drummondii – Drummond’s rattlebox
Fast-growing shrub 2-15 ft. high and wide, with feathery pinnate 4-8 in. leaves. Abundant bright yellow 1⁄2 in. flowers in 2-6 in. racemes, followed by four-winged 2-3 in. pods that rattle when ripe, hence the name. Blooms all summer and into fall. Said to be useful for cleaning up toxic soil, as it hyper-accumulates lead.
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SOLANUM atropurpureum – Solanum atropurpureum
A striking ornamental nightshade with lobed leaves growing to 6 ft. It is armed with purple spines up to an inch long, which cover the entire plant. Tomato-like flowers are followed by inch-wide round yellow-orange fruits. Grown as an annual.
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SOLANUM gilo – Black stem, gilo, Jiló, ngilo, scarlet egg plant
A nice eggplant cultivar grown in Africa and Brazil. It is a tall shrub with black stems growing to 5 ft. tall, and white flowers, downy leaves and round red fruits resembling cherry tomatoes. Round to spindle-shaped 1-3 in. edible green fruits turn red at maturity. These are eaten raw or cooked, and are said to taste like carrots or green beans.
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SOLANUM quitoense – Naranjilla, lulo
An attractive, woody ornamental shrub native to the northern Andes. Grows to height of 8 ft. with purple stems and leaves. The flowers are small and white, producing a fuzzy orange fruit with green flesh, resembling a tomato, about 1⁄2 in. in diameter. A refreshing drink is made from the juice. Grows best with high humidity and semi-shade. Hardy to Zone 10.
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SOLANUM topiro – Cocona, topiro
A multi-branched herbaceous shrub growing to about 6 ft., native to South America. The ovate leaves have a downy upper surface, scalloped margins and prominent veins underneath. 1 in. wide greenish-yellow flowers in the leaf axils produce fuzzy fruit up to 4 in. long. As the fruit ripens, it loses the fuzz, developing a smooth skin that may vary from golden-yellow to deep purple-red. Grows best in full sun.
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SORGHUM bicolor – Sorghum
This plant from the corn family is grown as an important grain in many parts of the world. The stems of some are used for making syrup or molasses, or can be chewed like sugar cane; the seeds are cooked like rice or popped; others are grown as ornamentals or used for making brooms. Many colours abound.
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STRELITZIA reginae – Bird of paradise, crane flower, crane lily
A clump-forming herb growing to about 3 ft. Renowned for its spectacular green flower stalk resembling the neck and head of a bird, and edged with purple or red. Flowers are orange or yellow with a dark blue “tongue.” The leaves look like banana leaves. Makes an ideal container plant. Needs full sun at maturity to bloom. Native to South Africa.
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TAMARINDUS indica – Tamarind, imli
Evergreen tree to 80 ft. Known for its tart pulp used in chutneys and numerous other dishes. Very attractive tree, especially when young with numerous pendant branches and feathery pinnate leaves that close up overnight. Grown for its 5 in. downy brown pods with edible flesh surrounding hard brown seeds. Native to tropical Asia. Hardy to warmest areas of Zone 10.
Per packet. . . . . . . . . . $ 4.00


THEVETIA peruviana – Yellow oleander, lucky nut
A small tropical tree or shrub growing to 30 ft. that can be kept pruned to desired size. It has 2 in. fragrant yellow flowers and long thin leaves very similar to oleander (Nerium species). Although tropical it will grow indoors with bright light. The large triangle-shaped seeds frequently germinate by putting out 2-3 sprouts. Seeds are poisonous if eaten.
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TRACHYCARPUS Fortunei – Windmill palm, Chinese windmill palm, hemp palm, fan palm
Small to medium palm growing to 40 ft. Native to Burma and eastern to central China. One of the hardier varieties. The trunk is covered with conspicuous black hair-like fibre from old leaf sheaths. In the Orient this is made into a decorative hemp-like rope. Hardy to Zone 8b.
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WASHINGTONIA filifera – Washington palm, desert fan palm
A massive palm native to southwest Arizona and parts of California, growing to a height of 80 ft. or more. The trunk is straight, often veiled in a skirt of dead, persistent leaves below the crown of grey-green leaf blades. Hardy to Zone 9a.
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XANTHORREA australis – Australian grass tree
Slow-growing and long-lived Australian native growing to 10 ft. with a head of long, narrow
3-4 ft. leaves and tall dense spikes of whitish flowers. Exudes a resin which can be made into varnish, and is collected by Australian bees to fill cracks in their hives. Though the leaves grow quickly, the trunk forms only with age; a 6 ft. specimen may be 100 years old. Full sun.
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YUCCA brevifolia – Joshua tree
Peculiar tree to 16-30 ft. with bent arm-like branches ending in rosettes of narrow 9 in. leaves. Greenish-white 2 in. flowers with thick fleshy petals, crowded in heavy, foot-long panicles followed by spongy 2-4 in. fruits. Native to the Mojave desert in California. Long-lived to a 1000 years or more. The flower buds were roasted on coals and eaten, the seeds were ground and eaten raw or in mush. Full sun.
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