Identify my Seed

I was trying to order some Amelanchier Utahensis (Juneberry) seeds and found a seller on Amazon. I was surprised to see that they are coming from China, despite not being a popular tree outside of the US (so far as I can tell) so I thought that I better double-check them when they came in.

To my eye, they don’t look like any images that I see on Google Images but maybe those are all cleaned-up and de-haired versions?

If not Juneberry seeds, any idea what these might be? I might still want to grow them, depending on what they are.

Moved from IMHO to GQ.

How did you import seed products without an import license?

USDA has an arm-long list of rules about that kind of thing. The URL is also arm-long.!ut/p/z1/fUxBDoIwELzzCi8ezUI0qEeCRkTjGXppVqxSLS20xejvbZBELriH2ZmdmQXiTSaeG8gccbSHsQ1E4pPf0HIlUUAGOQnpKYh3_moRHHfbTeBHyXp_SJahH6dzSLvirz8EIP-7Wd_t4yMLcn5vGhIBKZS07GUhw7rkhnZSWir4WaN-T32DVLWaXlXRmk7VAp1fMhS27A68qpW2X4_pitthrketLm0xNIz7qL-Uy5u7VyjETChrZoaxC9QPkn8A2fIj0w!!/

And for good reason.

You can import all sorts of crap that way, potentially causing huge amounts of damage to all your neighbors and possibly the rest of the continent. It isn’t only an issue of what the plant is, though that can be a problem; it’s also an issue of what microscopic life, of all sorts of species, might be riding along with it.

ETA: I wouldn’t buy live plant material, of any sort, from anybody whose reputation you’re unable to check into.

Just random googling.

Desert Willow Tree Seeds (Chilopsis linearis) ??

Looks like Catalpa seeds.

I would distrust any seeds sent from China, as sellers there are notorious for sending stuff that’s mislabeled or non-viable, or both.

… or non-existent - like blue strawberries or rainbow tomatoes

Thank you for the opportunity to plug my favorite source for all things fruit bearing. Trees shrubs fruit vegetables seeds advice and history. A SW Michigan plant herder.

They’ve got a good rating at Dave’s Garden.

That’s a useful site to check the reputation of seed and plant sources. (Quite good sources may have an occasional bad review, of course; but if there’s almost nothing there but bad reviews, duck.)

Oikos has some quality stuff; never tried their seeds. The Garden Watchdog is invaluable for ratings on seed and plant sellers.

Buying seeds or other plant material on Amazon or eBay is something of a crapshoot. I’ve had good luck with seeds and cuttings from domestic sources. In addition to avoiding Chinese sellers like the plague, beware of items sent from other Southeast Asian sources as well as Russia and former Soviet republics. In addition to getting scammed, you could very well have shipments confiscated by U.S authorities, especially if they involve live plants or cuttings. Some scammers have evidently figured out ways to game the ratings systems, as I doubt that there are many buyers pleased with their purchases of seeds of imaginary plants with rainbow-hued flowers.

Still can be a crapshoot. I was grumbling several years ago to a friend that a variety that had done really well for me was off the market. I then got an excited email from a friend of the friend who said she’d found it on Amazon and ordered several packets so she could give it to me. I replied that the seed was off the market because the supplier had quit breeding it several years previously, it was a hybrid so nobody else would be breeding it on their own (except to try to breed it out into an open-pollinated and then you rename it, it’s not the same thing), and so the seed was either very old seed which from that species wasn’t going to grow or was mislabeled seed of some other variety. They were able to cancel the order in time not to be charged; but it simply hadn’t occured to them that a random seller on Amazon, with no presence elsewhere as a seed company, might be selling old seed or mislabeled seed.

If you buy a piece of clothing or an electronic gizmo or whatever online and it’s a piece of junk or misrepresented, you’ve lost your money. If you buy living material from a bad source and go ahead and plant it, you may not only lose your money but screw up the production ability of your field and/or a much wider ecosystem. Not worth the chance.