Apparently the Rare Thailand Parrot flower is flying again! And you can't buy it!!

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by photopro, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Just over one year ago there were several discussions on this board regarding an email which was captioned "The Rare Thailand Parrot Flower". It circulated the internet for much of the first half of last year. Many people thought the photos were fake. They are not.

    That species is a rare impatiens from Northern Thailand, Burma and portions of eastern India known to science as Impatiens psittacina. Apparently the email is now on its second journey around the world! The Rare Thailand Parrot Flower has taken flight again!

    Since I have posted several pages of information with new photos of the species on the internet I am receiving request after request to sell one of these very rare impatiens. I don't have it and you can't buy it! Why?

    First it is extremely rare in nature. Second, it is illegal to collect, possess or sell in Thailand. And third, few people have the facilities to grow one in the United States. This one is tough to grow even for highly experienced rare impatiens collectors. Not one single botanical garden in the US that I can locate grows or displays the species. And believe me, I've checked! There has to be a good reason!

    Rather than take up a ton of space here I've prepared a link explaining why you can't buy it, unless of course you are willing to fly to Thailand in late November or December and attempt to bring back your own seeds. There is a tour company that takes people to see it when it is in bloom. But that could be costly both in airfare and jail time!

    If you simply must have the species read this first. You may just change your mind!

    http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Rare Thailand Parrot Flower buy one SP.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2007
  2. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Rare Thailand Parrot flower is not an orchid

    I have been receiving a good deal of email asking for information of the "Parrot Flower Orchid". I can only assume these people are referring to the photos of the Thailand Parrot Flower, Impatiens psittacina, that are again floating around in email. This species is an Impatiens, it is not an orchid. Orchids are very distinctive in they have three petals and three sepals which are unique among flower species. Impatiens species are quite different. All information I've been able to uncover on this unusual Impatiens sp. is located here should you be interested:

    http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Rare Thailand Parrot Flower SP.html

    If you have received an email stating this flower is an orchid I'd love to see the source of that information. You can easily find my personal email address near the bottom of the homepage of my website listed below. Thanks!
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Apparently the Rare Thailand Parrot flower is flying again! And you can't buy it

    Probably the same crowd of pro-confusionists who misname junipers and cypresses 'cedars', and who call maples 'elders', and who call asparagus 'ferns', etc., etc., etc!
     
  4. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Re: Apparently the Rare Thailand Parrot flower is flying again! And you can't buy it

    Thanks Michael. I'm sure you are very likely correct. But I'd love to see the email that contains this claim. My mail box has been lighting up with people asking why I don't explain "it is an orchid rather than an Impatiens"? As you well know, once a "rumor" gets started regarding almost any plant species it is really tough to kill! There are still a bunch of people out there who are so convinced the photos in this email are contrived in PhotoShop they have actually sent email accusing me of "creating" the entire "hoax" to sell plants. Crazy thing is, I don't sell plants! I just love to research them!
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Apparently the Rare Thailand Parrot flower is flying again! And you can't buy it

    Sorry, no idea who in particular is doing it. But there does appear to be a very strong push in some quarters to encourage the use of English names that are botanically misleading. I wonder if it may be connected with creationism, where the idea of any plant being related to any other is anathema (since a relationship requires common ancestry, and therefore requires evolution). To such people, calling e.g. Manitoba Maple Acer negundo an elder [Sambucus] or a rowan (Sorbus) an ash [Fraxinus] is valid, because it is no more, nor any less, related to one than to the other, since relationships cannot exist between species which are uniquely 'created'. Coining English names which match this belief and mislead botany is probably a good ploy in their eyes.
     
  6. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Re: Apparently the Rare Thailand Parrot flower is flying again! And you can't buy it

    Now I've not heard that one! What a strange way to try to prove a point! I am a believer in creationism but I know for certain species can cross breed! I've done it in my own atrium! Botanists have major problems with plants in the Anthurium group because they interbreed all the time! Often, when someone comes up with a "new" species it is proven to be a cross bred plant between two known species. But they can be very confusing! Growers in Hawaii specialize in trying to fool people into believing they are buying a "new" species and all the plant turns out to be is a hybrid.

    Strange for sure. Oh well, I'll just be ready for another round of email!

    Steve
     
  7. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Re: Apparently the Rare Thailand Parrot flower is flying again! And you can't buy it

    Probably nothing more than "trivia" at best to most people. But if you're still trying to buy seeds or Impatiens psittacina plants, this may be a descent scientific explanation as to why we won't likely ever find the species in North America.

    Most who are knowledgeable in the area of plant pollination have concluded the natural pollinator for the "Rare Thailand Parrot Flower" is not found in our hemisphere. Many don't understand the pollination of plants so that statement means nothing. But while considering the possible pollinators for this species, Invertebrate Ecologist/Taxonomist D. Christopher Rogers, who studies insects, made this observation, "looking at the plant, and the position of the anthers (arcing over the flower aperture) and the position of the nectar tube (high and down curled), I would guess that a bird or a bat pollinates the plant. It is possible a moth or butterfly with a very long “tongue” does the job, or maybe a wasp, but the size of the flower leads me towards a vertebrate. That being said the next thing to consider is the form and coloration of the flower. It could be a wasp that would come upon a bird in order to capture parasitic flies or heteropterans with which to provision its eggs." Expert plant researcher Julius Boos tends to believe the pollinator is more likely to be a "large hairy bumble-bee.... with large, wide and hairy heads and bodies, seemingly perfect to collect and distribute pollen." Julius believes that insect "would have tongues more than long enough to reach the pollen source." He continued, "The flower also appears to possess and provides a basal 'petal' as a 'landing platform' for a bee to land and hold on to while feeding!"

    True, we've got "bats" and "bumble bees" in North America, but do we have "the" bat or bumble bee in our hemisphere that naturally pollinates this plant. Although both Christopher and Julius are obviously forced to speculate, due to the lack of documented information from Thailand, Burma and eastern India, it appears regardless of which of these vertebrate, or invertebrate, species does the natural job in nature it is highly unlikely we have that specific pollinator in North America. As a result, this impatiens species is not easily caused to reproduce in captive growth.
     
  8. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Re: Apparently the Rare Thailand Parrot flower is flying again! And you can't buy it

    While at the International Aroid Society show in Miami this weekend I met a very nice family from Thailand. I just took a chance and asked if they had ever seen the "Rare Thailand Parrot Flower". The answer was "certainly". They told me a great deal more about the plant and were quite amused people in North America are always thinking this flower is a hoax! Besides the flowers that we have seen photos of that are more blue, there is also a pink version and a yellow version! Since the entire family is plant oriented (they own a plant nursery in Thailand) they assured me seeds would always be difficult to locate. The plant apparently just does not produce a large volume.
     
  9. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    Re: Apparently the Rare Thailand Parrot flower is flying again! And you can't buy it

    Now you will probably have people emailing you again wanting to contact them and buy them now!! Interesting about the pink and yellow though

    Ed
     
  10. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Re: Apparently the Rare Thailand Parrot flower is flying again! And you can't buy it

    You can be sure of that! But who knows, these folks fly to South Florida four times a year! And they did offer me their card!
     
  11. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Re: Apparently the Rare Thailand Parrot flower is flying again! And you can't buy it

    Just thought some of you might want to know I've been asked to do a follow up on the Garden Rebel radio show this morning during the 11:00AM eastern time hour. The subject is the Rare Thailand Parrot Flower, Impatiens psittacina. You can listen live at this link:


    http://www.radioamerica.org/


    Just click the audio button at the top for the live show beginning at 11:00AM eastern US time. For those of you in the Central zone, that will be 10:00AM. And for those in the western zone, 8:00AM. In Australia, you'll just have to figure it out!!


    Steve
     
  12. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Re: Apparently the Rare Thailand Parrot flower is flying again! And you can't buy it

    As of today, Feb. 25, 2008 someone on Craig's List from North Carolina is claiming to be offering seeds of Impatiens psittacina for sale. Before you jump in and send them money read this:

    http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Rare Thailand Parrot Flower buy one SP.html

    They openly say it is "expensive"! But they don't tell you this plant needs to be grown in a humid rain forest with high temperates and high humidity. And they don't tell you even the botanist who named the plant could not make it grow! Or that seeds are not available year round in the wild!

    Do they have it? I don't know! But I've researched this plant enough in the past two years to be very skeptical! Like many other things offered on Craig's List, this one may be just too good to be true!!
     
  13. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Re: Apparently the Rare Thailand Parrot flower is flying again! And you can't buy it

    Those who doubt the Parrot Flower exists just won't give up and accept scientific material.

    This past weekend I received an email from an individual in Canada who said she had just read on a Canadian garden forum the plant in the photos that have been circulating for almost 2 years were not an Impatiens! She also said she had read on the same forum the plant was so common it could be purchased on any of a dozen websites in the United States. I ran into a similar set of posts on another Canadian garden site almost 2 years ago and strongly suspected the same individuals were at their old tricks again. So I checked the link she offered.

    Sure enough, one person was saying the plant could be bought just about anywhere and another was saying the plant was not an Impatiens because all Impatiens spew their seeds. Well, folks this one doesn't! And you can't buy it in the United States or Canada.

    There appears to be a lot of incorrect information on the net about Impatiens in general. So please allow me to give you a link that will give you some scientific info. One of those sites which I found had this quote: "To begin with, there are approximately 36 species of impatiens in the world". I found that of great interest! I am not an Impatiens expert but I do read a lot of scientific material and I knew that statement could not be correct! A check of the International Plant Names Index (Royal Botanic Garden, Kew in London) done in April, 2008 reveals there are more than 1.300 Impatiens species in their records! Go check out the link yourself: http://mrimpatiens.com/1389_records_found of impatiens sp.htm Many are quite rare! If you scoll down the list of the Kew's plants you'll find Impatiens psittacina listed.

    And according to Impatiens experts many don't spew their seeds. The plant that grows all over Canada is Impatiens glandulifera and it is not the same as Impatiens psittacina, known as the Rare Thailand Parrot Flower. Impatiens glandulifer spews seeds and is invasive! Impatiens psittacina does not, is ot invasive, and is very, very rare.

    If you still doubt this rare Impatiens exists please take the time to go read an article written by the world's leading Impatiens expert Ray Morgan. Ray's article was published by the Royal Horticultural Society and can be found at this link

    http://www.rhs.org.uk/Learning/Publications/plantsman/0907/plantsmansep2007.htm

    And if you don't know who Ray Morgan is, then you are not a fan of rare Impatiens. Just type his name into the internet with the word Impatiens and see how many books pop up.

    When you click on the link you will need to scroll down and find Ray's article entitled Parrot Billed Impatiens. Impatiens psittacina is only one of a group of very rare Impatiens Ray covers. Ray also quotes botanist Edward Dalton Hooker's information which differs somewhat from currently available information from the Plants of Thailand Research Unit. However, Hooker stated very clearly he never saw the plant in the wild. He only observed it in a plant collection in Calcutta, India.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2008

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