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Vendor Review: Karel Knize
Seed, paid for in cash, takes 2 to 3 months before he ships,
then it won't germinate —it's garbage.
WARNING UPDATE: September 12, 2008

Hi, I was amused by your webpage description of your experience with dealing with Knize. I agree that he is a terrible businessman and I would like to see his operation shut down.

I ordered plants from him in 2005 and never received nearly the number or species that I ordered. What little I got was entirely mislabeled, evidently so that he could correlate the shipment with his forged CITES document, nor did I get a refund for the plants that I paid for and never received. I should have learned my lesson then.

Recently I thought I would try again and remind him that I would not order unless I got what I paid for. Well, I emailed an order and after a week or so eventually got a reply that he would do better to ship the plants I ordered to someone in Arizona instead. What the hell? Fortunately I did not send him any money.

I have written this guy off and will do my best to warn others before dealing with this crook. I think your webpage pretty much sums up the frustration of dealing with Knize.

Best regards, Don
JUNE 1, 2007 WARNING: Germination = zero

I ordered KK242 and KK339 seed in January. Huge hassle, finally arrived in May. After 30 days; no germination. Seed from my European supplier planted at the same time, under identical conditions germinated normally.

The problem with Knize is that his seed is unlabeled as to year collected. Is it 1 year old? 2 years old? With his 2-3 month order filling it will take at least 3 to 4 months from the time you send funds until you learn if the seed is viable or not.

I will not buy any more seed from Karel Knize. Why waste money and months of time to get--nothing?
2-months in 2006 and 3-months in 2007 for seed to arrive. Had to send many emails & letters asking "Where is my seed?" Knize is NOT a reliable source for individual buyers—apparently he only wants to wholesale seed to the big European suppliers.
 
My 2006 Peruvian seed order took over 2 months to obtain; this year it took 3 months. Many emails and 4 letters finally did the trick. This year I mailed Knize a photo of his website with the "El Bandito?" image on it. I accused him in my letter of being a thief.

Then my seed was mailed. But like last year there is no invoice, no literature, no receipt, no order form, etc. I send money and then try for months to wear him down by showing him I won't go away until he mails the seed.

During the 3-months I waited for my seeds from Knize I purchased some from Europe. The seeds arrived in only 2 weeks. That source supplies invoices, receipts, etc. and payment is traceable through PayPal.

 
2006 KK242 had such good germination I bought more. Unfortunately the 2007 packet of KK242 had zero germination! Seed from Europe, planted in the same germination chamber at the same time, germinated perfectly. Knize, in my experience, can not be trusted.
Below is the Knize email I received nearly 3 months after sending payment—
Hi, last min shipemnt per Air Mail certified sent. I minf you have the envelope on the desk next days. I seen the delivery problem in local Customs and Regiostartion service,usually if anything happened,wrong address,any delivery documents or othewr cause comming the parcel or envelope back 2-8 weeks.

After Registration just 2 for USA this year lost upt today and not received back. No problem with wholesale Delivery. we sent 4 sachets 2x pachanoi 2x peruvianus numered...Direct from the Central Mail office and controled, must be ready. sincerely K.Knize


Karel Knize in a nutshell
• No PayPal/No credit cards; those would give you recourse. Instead you have to pay by cash or bank transfer up front—with no recourse if you never receive anything. Bad idea!

• No communication; no phone, head scratching email replies. No reply to letters; no invoices.

• If seed is eventually obtained it may have low to zero germination. This suggests it is too old to be used.

In fact, I have had to send repeated letters and emails for months to obtain anything. Forget about it!
Europe had the best seed sources

Want a safe, fast, and professional source of seed? Try this excellent German source.  http://www.koehres-kaktus.de

My experience with Koehres-Kactus

Seed arrives by airmail promptly. My first order was registered mail that I had to pick up at the Post Office. I gave them my bank # and they did a debit. Nice, friendly, professional folks. Danke schön!
The images shown here look great and may entice you to send money for an order of seed. However, you may never receive anything. Believe me, I know!
(Below) Peruvian seed varieties that either can't be obtained (you'll lose any money you send them), or the seed will be too old to germinate, etc. Stick with the European sources and you won't get burned. KK = Karel Knize collection site numbers
(above) Knize is known for mislabeling his cuttings. In this instance it appears he has done so again as this certainly looks like a San Pedro. His other photos of KK242 show the traditional long spines.

(Above) The Peruvianus in its natural state in the mountains of Peru. In the wild these plants self propagate not by seed but by falling over and self rooting.
(Above) This looks like the "Standard Peruvian Torch" commonly offered for sale.
(above) Trichocereus Pachanoi according to Knize
(Above) listed as Cuzcoensis.
(above) A standard Bridgesii. Specimen at right does not like a Bridgesii
(above) listed as a bridgesii by Knize
Has Knize gone too far South?
April, 2007

Karel Knize has been criticized by others for mis-labeling specimens, or not labeling them at all. In my 2006 order of seed some varieties would not germinate. Others had barely 25% germination rates. Last year's order took months to receive and required letters & email to prompt it along even though Airmail between USA and Peru takes only 4-5 days. No invoice was provided. The cash balance that should have been shown was simply pocketed.

This year our payment was cashed and months later no seed has been shipped. So consider this a personal warning that you, too, could lose any funds sent to Karel Knize in Peru. Caveat emptor!

 

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