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How to Reserve and Purchase Flasks and Plants
Anybody Can Buy Flasks from Us

This is not just a flasking service for people who have orchid seed. Our idea is to get species orchids to everyone who wants them, with the help of people who have seed that they are willing to share. If you see something you like, you may reserve flasks of it.

 A Brief Explanation of Why You Reserve Flasks

We generally are not offering flasks that are ready to ship. Instead, we ask that people reserve flasks to be made specifically for them, and that way we know exactly how many to make. This keeps the price very low, and doesn't waste our space and other resources. Occasionally we will have some flasks that are ready to ship, but this is the exception.

How to Reserve and Purchase Flasks

As soon as a donor lets us know that they have seed to offer, either because they have just harvested seed or even just pollinated a flower, we post the information on the web site. We post it as early as possible because we need to have people express their interest in the item so that when the time comes to reflask, we know how many to make.

This means that you will see items with various levels of "Tissue Status," some of which are:

  • Awaiting Capsule Maturation - The seed capsule(s) are still on the plant
  • Awaiting Germination - The seed has been harvested but not yet germinated
  • Germinated - Seeds have started growing
  • Reflasking Imminent - Reflasking will occur very soon

There are others, but discussing these will be enough to understand the process.

If an item that you are interested in has either of the first two statuses, then we don't accept reservations for flasks. This is because we don't know if the seed will mature or germinate, and we have no idea what the yield will be. We DO accept requests for notification, though, and if you see something of interest it is very important to sign up for the notifications. When you do, you will be automatically notified when the capsules are harvested or when seed germinates. When you are notified that seed has germinated, if you make a reservation for flask(s) within a week or so, you will maintain your place in the list of who gets flasks based on the date that you first requested the notification.

To sign up for Notification you need to Log In first. If you haven't yet registered as a User, you will be asked to fill in a form with your email address, a password, your country, and a friendly name that we can address you by.

Once you are logged in, search for the item that you are interested in (if you were just looking at it there will be a link directly to it from the Log In Confirmation page). Near the bottom of the page is a button that says "Notification Request" or "Reservation - Request" depending on the status of the item. Click that button, and you will be given a form that allows you to select what notifications you would like to have. If you have already made a reservation or notification request for this same item, then you are give a list of them instead, and you can alter them as desired. When you have selected the notifications that you want, click the "Submit Reservation - Request" button near the bottom of the form.

To Reserve Flasks, follow the same instructions as above for Notifications. If the item has germinated or is at any later stage you will be allowed to reserve flasks in a section of the form just above the Notifications. If you reserve flasks, please be aware this this is your commitment to purchase them later, when they are ready. Payment isn't requested until flasks are ready to ship. You can always request to change the flask quantity up or down, and chances are we will approve the change or cancellation, but there may be instances where we simply won't be able to because they have been made only for you. You can freely change the quantity reserved for a couple of days after the initial reservation, though, so don't hesitate to reserve even if you think you might change your mind tomorrow. We only lock in the reservations because we have made reflasking decisions based upon them.

 When the Flasks are Ready

We consider plants that are vigorous enough to be compotted ready to ship, unless you specify otherwise. When flasks that you reserved are ready to be shipped, we will email you and make sure that you are ready and able to receive the plants, and we will verify your address. We will ask for payment at this time. We won't ship until we know you are ready.

If you plan to pot the plants immediately we will unflask them and ship the them in a sterile bag (boxed, of course). This is lighter, the plants are actually damaged less during shipping, and it is less costly for the shipping charges that you must pay. For example. as I write this on May 14th, 2007, in the USA, a flask's worth of plants in a sterile bag can be shipped by Priority Mail for $5.55 plus $4.20 packaging and handling. Express Mail to most areas is $24.97 plus $5.40 packaging and handling. If heat packs are required, they are $2.00 each, usually one per box. Heat packs are heavy, so the postage may increase.

If you plan on reflasking the plants, or if they are being sent outside of the USA, then they will be shipped in the flask. For this you must also pay a vessel deposit of $1.50 to $3 depending on the kind of vessel. We discourage in-flask shipping because the plants are frequently damaged, however.

 Some Limitations

While it is our policy to request payment for flasks only when we are ready to ship them, if you reserve a large quantity of flasks we may ask for partial payment in advance. We make very little money on these and a large number of flasks that are unwanted for whatever reason could be a financial problem for us. If we ask for partial payment, it will always be applied to your account, not to specific flasks, so if we fail to be able to provide you with something you have reserved you will not have lost the partial payment.

 Methods of Payment

We accept personal checks and money orders by mail, and credit cards and PayPal online via our Purchases and Payments page which is linked to a secure PayPal page.

If you are unfamiliar with PayPal, it is an Internet-based payment service that allows you to email payments drawn from your credit card to anyone. Only PayPal has your card number.

 Purchasing Plants, not Flasks

We do offer a number of established seedlings grown from test flasks. To see the listing, visit

Also, we have given you the option to have your name given to people who get the flasks from us. This will allow them to contact you if they have a spare plant or two, which is usually quite likely. We don't know what they might charge, if anything; that is their decision. To sign up to have your name given to the flask recipients, follow the instructions above on how to sign up for Notifications, and select the "Notify the recipients of the flasks" option.

 International Issues

If you are outside of the USA, please be sure to read our International Issues page.


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