chucksatx Alamo Heights, TX (1 review) April 29, 2013
Ordered two plants from Rare Plant Research. Both were nice specimens in nice condition. Both were shipped out of pots but with a fair amount of soil. Both did well after being placed in ground. I would use Burl again for hard to find plants.
I ordered some plants from RPR in 2010 and was very pleased with them. After a fire in our greenhouse this February, I lost a lot of the plants and reordered new ones this month. I included a note about the fire so Burl would know that I didn't just kill the rare plants he sent me last year!
I received great looking plants in the mail, some starting leaves, great looking roots, the works. I would recommend Rare Plant Research to anyone. His prices are superb considering how rare the items are.
This company lists unusual or difficult to acquire plants. I am hoping to begin cultivating some new genera. Although not inexpensive the plants are not excessively priced either. I ordered recently as a trial since I and club associates had heard some things that did not sound promising - especially the difficulty of contacting them, something I can verify. The plants arrived very promptly. All were there, bareroot, as promised. They were small, several were cuttings, and they looked a little critical but this is what one would expect. Some were trimmed. I am rerooting as I write. I will see how they do. Otherwise, nothing to prevent me from ordering again. I wish I had a couple of years ago since then they had some plants I really wanted. I think anyone might order if they understand that there might be some things not ideal. Easier than traveling to habitat.
When they are good they are very good, alas they do some dodgy things. I had ordered a couple of plants from them over a couple of years and when they arrived, they looked very good.
A workmate asked if I would suggest a plant & include him on my next order which I did and they sent him a half dead plant. You have no idea of what this horror looked like. They positively refused to replace it as it wasn't returned within 3 days. I never used them again.
I ordered 8 plants and received 7. One of the 7 was severely dessicated and a very tiny "stick" (Bursera) smaller in diameter than a pencil, that died. The other bare-root stock did fine. Despite 3 emails to them from their "contact us" menu and a letter by "snail mail," I never received any response. This started in April and it is now June... plenty of time for a response. I believed that failing to mail one of the plants was an honest mistake. I believed that the poor Bursera material should have never been sent or shown as available. I asked in the emails and the letter for either a refund or mailing of the missing plant and a decent replacement for the Bursera. Since the response to repeated requests was silence and more silence, I can only record my negative experience here to warn others. It is truly disappointing, because they offer some plants that I've not seen available anywhere else in the U.S., and I was hoping to make more purchases in the future.
Not now.On June 17th, 2004, BuffettPhan changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I received a letter from Rare Plant Research postmarked 6/14/04. In the letter, I was told that I had been credited for the missing Cissus, and later the dead Bursera, plus shipping. The letter also said that there was an unsatisfactory plant must be returned within 3 days after receiving it. Funny this isn't on the web site or the invoice. I checked my accounts and on 5/11 and 6/14 I was credited as the letter said. The letter claimed to have e-mailed me three times in response to my e-mails. Due to their strange "contact" system on their web site, you can't find their email address, so there's no way to find if they tried to respond or not, due to the unorthodoxy. The reply was attached to my 5/26/04 letter. They could certainly improve their "unorthodox" contact system, show their email address, and list their return policies.
I have ordered 2x from this company and would strongly recommend it to anyone. I received my shipments promptly, and Burl pays attention to national weather to try to limit frost damage. My plants have all been healthy and completely BUG FREE! Burl (that's his name) has also replied to my emails on care tips personally. Some specimens may show significant pruning or have other "flaws" but I choose to view them as unique. The variety of plants is exceptional, and this grower has an admirable ethic re: preservation of natural habitat. I am planning another purchase soon!
The plants I received were smaller than most of those you get from other mail order (internet) companies, and they seem to use out-dated nomenclature for many plants (at least the kind I am interested in), however....the plants were healthy and, unlike the other comment here, were the correct plants. The ones I bought here I have not seen available anywhere else. I WOULD buy from here again, even given the drawbacks.
I do not like to be negative but I was very dissipointed by the plants sent to me by this company. Out of 6 plants ordered, a large caudiciform specimen contained a huge healed gash(probably from a rot problem)and was recently severely pruned.Also a species of cactus was very incorrectly labeled and sent.This particular cactus should be distinguishable to anyone with even a general interest. I would not order from them again.