I ordered some Bosenbergia pandurata and Curcuma xanthorriza rhizomes from Tropilabs in late May 2011, While it did take a long time to receive the order (about 8 weeks) they kept me up to date and responded to all inquiries promptly. They have a wide variety of plants that I could not find anywhere else, and considering that they had to harvest my material from their farm in Surinam (I think) the time delay was not unreasonable. Most important was that the specimens arrived in great shape and gave me some nice healthy plants.
I would recommend Tropilabs with the reminder that you may have to wait for your order to be completed.
On Feb 21, 2010, treehugggr New Port Richey, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
Posted on February 3, 2010, updated February 21, 2010
Posted on January 21, 2010, updated February 3, 2010
As of this writing, this order is still in processing/shipment. Ordered on 2010-01-15.
Upon reading all the reviews here, I wanted to give mine play-by-play, to hopefully dispel the negatives, since I believe these folks are good people. I don't know them, but they are neighbors, having an office in my hometown, St. Petersburg, FL. Over the past few years they have answered all my calls and emails sufficiently, even though I had not ordered until now.
I ordered several seed items on 2010-01-15:
Phyllanthus amarus- they said is in stock, I should receive in about a week.
Areca catechu- they said not in stock, I should receive in 3 weeks.
Virola surinamensis- they said tree is not dropping seeds until late Feb/early March, so I should receive them around end of March. No problem.
The customer service was very polite. When I supplied her with the critical information, she spelled back the words with the phonetic alphabet (alpha, bravo, Charlie, delta, echo...) to ensure proper recording. It should be noted that one should have a bit of patience when calling, since they speak with a heavy Surinamese dialect. As I understand, they own a big chunk of the Amazon, and ship many items directly from Suriname. I patiently accept the lag in shipping time, and a waiting period if a specie is not producing seeds at the time of order.
I agreed to an order subtotal of $13.34
a shipping cost of $6.75
and a grand total of $20.09
I don't know if I have been charged yet, but I have confidence that they will charge only $20.09, and not have any surprise charges.
I believe Tropilab is made of good people, and I know KeeGee (spelling?) is knowledgeable. I am excited to have such an extensive collection of EXTREMELY rare species, in my hometown.
I intend to consistently update this post as my order becomes fulfilled.
On February 3rd, 2010, treehugggr added the following:
The lady called and said that my order (with 2 of the 3 items) had been sent back to them by the USPS.
Apparently there was a problem with the zip code. No big deal. I wasn't even expecting this for another week.
I was happy to have direct communication from them. They skipped the email and made repetitive calls until they reached me. Very good practice.
So far, the people below (and the impatient person above) giving bad ratings do not convince me. I maintain the positive rating thus far.
Namaste!On February 21st, 2010, treehugggr added the following:
Ok, here is my final comment for this order.
Over 2 weeks ago, Tropilab contacted me AGAIN, saying that the order was, again, undeliverable as per the USPS. We verified the shipping address, and wouldn't you know, the address was indeed wrong. This was NOT Tropilab's fault. I have two addresses, and supplied a combination of the two originally ,in a brainfart! This mistake, MY mistake, was corrected and my order was shipped to me for a third time. The Tropilab folks were very understanding, did not show any annoyance on the phone, and did not charge me for the extra shippings. I didn't check, but I think that the two extra shippings cost them more than the products cost me. And they were not upset, and I certainly conveyed my regret for the mistake. Regardless of the "lost time", those two items were actually in my hand weeks before I had expected. Bonus.
The Virola seeds arrived yesterday. Knowing the delicate nature of the recalcitrant seeds of this EXTREMELY rare tree, I was excited to have them, but feared that they were carelessly tossed into a box and mailed. NO! Tropilab took the time to properly ship this seed, which otherwise would have been damaged, or dead-on-arrival if not specially packaged. I am supremely impressed by their attention to details.
Now, the money. I was charged exactly as indicated when placing the order. There were no games played with my money, contrary to other questionable comments here.
My orders were fill quite sufficiently. In fact, I received 14 Virola seeds, but ordered 10. I received 5 Areca seeds, but ordered 4. As for the 60 Phyllanthus seeds I ordered, I stopped counting at 100.
In summary, this family hand picks seeds of the rarest of rare botanicals, in the plants' native habitat: The Amazon Rainforest. I should know, this is my craft. This is what I spend my life studying. Many of their items just CAN NOT be found at another supplier, botanical garden, or university lab. I know, I have tried.
The customer MUST exercise patience when ordering from Tropilab, since their seeds do not come from a warehouse shelf; they come from the plants within the native habitat, and picked only when optimal for best germination.
It is the customers' responsibility to ask when the seed becomes available. I asked, so I knew what to expect. Tropilab met and exceeded my expectations. I will be spending my salary at Tropilab in the near future.
I hope this review enlightens potential patrons, and smothers the fears that some bad apples have bestowed upon Tropilab.
Ordered Ginger rhizome on Wen. and received Saturday. (3 days to California). They were good size and appeared fresh. Couldn't have asked for more. They also seemed very knowledgeable.
On September 8th, 2008, Barryf added the following:
Ordered some Heliconia rhizomes from them at a another later time and after about a couple of weeks (they had to be special ordered), they arrived in good shape and even included extra!! Very satisfied...