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dakini_painter

Source for A. pontica seed and herb

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OK, I was quite impressed with shinshain and martin's experiments in herb tasting. And ZMan suggested that the Brut d'Alembic could be used to experiment with coloring and the effect of the herbs on taste. It got me thinking (usually a Bad Idea™). Where could I get the herbs? What about a few seeds to plant in the garden (instead of the worthless burdock there now)?

 

From past posts I know of Cascade Herbs and a couple other places mentioned previously. Cascade has quoted me for A. pontica herb $20/1.5 oz plus $2 per 1.5 oz shipping. At this rate A. pontica is selling for over $200/lb. Are there any other sources? Lots of other places sell (probably not very good) A. absinthium and other Artemisia species.

 

I haven't been able to find any sources for A. pontica seeds. There is Theatrum Botanicum Herb Plants but they list only plants and are currently out of A. pontica anyway. At the price of the herb I know I wouldn't be selling my seeds either. ;)

 

And if anyone has a few pontica seeds, maybe you could just PM me and we could trade. :D

 

Does anyone know what the yield would be A. pontica in pounds of dried herb per acre? You see, 100 pounds at $200/lb, well, y'all are smart, you can do the math. And yes, they scoffed at the Wright Brothers too. :cheers:

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I too am eager to add this plant to my garden. I haven't yet put much effort into locating some, but as my landscaping progresses I keep adding new garden areas and I would like very much to fill some of that space with this plant.

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Keep in mind that pontica is used at the rate of around a gram per liter. A pound will color about 453 liters of absinthe. For your use, I'm sure an ounce or two will more than suffice.

 

The most common method of propagating pontica is by root division. From what I hear, it's very difficult to start from seed.

 

As for pounds-per-acre, not so much, I'll bet. Pontica is very light and fluffy, it takes a lot to make a pound.

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Pontica tends to grow in single stalks straight up for about 8-20 inches high. The small leaves tend to be very spread apart and leveled. You may get, if you are lucky, about one gram of useable dried herb per stalk. The main reason for the high cost of pontica is not so much that it is hard to get (which it can be). Most of it is already (on a futures basis) purchased by the vermouth, other liquor manufacturers, and fragrance industry. Also the cost of importing it is very high and the demand for it in the USA is almost nil.

Edited by Dr. Verte

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It depends. I doubt it that anyone would sell some misnamed AA as AP. Who sold it to you? Did they sell you seed? Plant? Post a pic? I have never heard of pontica growing that tall.

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A Pontica

 

Scroll down.

 

I bought a couple of Pontica plants from this website not too long ago. I'm not sure what the "nana" means after the name. I have no idea what this company's reputation is but they responded to my emails very quickly. The plants arrived alive and healthy.

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"nana" would mean it's a dwarf variety.

 

I always thought Pontica was a small plant anyway, not sure why a dwarf would be desirable . . . probably a more compact/dense growth form, easier to control.

 

Hopefully, the flavor of the dried herb is similar.

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A Pontica

 

Scroll down.

 

I bought a couple of Pontica plants from this website not too long ago. I'm not sure what the "nana" means after the name. I have no idea what this company's reputation is but they responded to my emails very quickly. The plants arrived alive and healthy.

 

If you purchased the plants from Companion Plants, then what you have gotten was NOT A. pontica. I too have purchased these so called "A. pontica/nana" and was quite surprised to what I received.The plants are misclassified. I believe them to be perhaps a species of Artemisia, but not Artemisia pontica. I have contacted Companion plants to tell them about this error, but they never replied. I would be very wary about adding anything from this plant to something that I would drink.

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That's good to know. They looked right to me, but I admit that I have not seen that many in person. They are not doing well anyway. Now I just have to wonder about the A. Absinthium and hyssop I got from them. Just how DOES a person know that they are getting what they asked for?

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I went on a hunt the other weekend at various nurseries and found that most carry A. Abrotanum, Powis Castle and some other Artemesia species (Vulgaris, maybe?).

 

Most of the leaf structures look slightly similar. This is not to say that there is a difference in size and make up, but simply that they all kind of look like a species of Artemesia. Many species grow wild here on the E. Coast...here in Jersey I've spotted at least two different types of Artemesias but have failed to aptly put a name to them.

 

It is hard to recognize what one gets when they order from such places, and as such I would reccomend some die hard plant searching via local nurseries who have large amounts of stock and possibly one or more species of Artemesia.

 

Aaron

 

Edit: and make sure you know both species names and common names. Many people at nurseries have no idea (sadly) of what you're talking about when you throw latin at them. :(

Edited by shinsain

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Keep in mind that pontica is used at the rate of around a gram per liter. A pound will color about 453 liters of absinthe. For your use, I'm sure an ounce or two will more than suffice.

 

The most common method of propagating pontica is by root division. From what I hear, it's very difficult to start from seed.

 

As for pounds-per-acre, not so much, I'll bet. Pontica is very light and fluffy, it takes a lot to make a pound.

 

Thanks Hiram. I knew I only needed a little bit.

 

The references to pounds and pounds-per-acre are for reference to farming. I'm not talking a little plot in the back yard. I have friends who are real farmers (certified organic as well). (I know many of you frown on those organic "hippy" types and folks who eat vegetables. I read all those threads too. :P ) The second home owners here also want to maintain their agricultural exemption on their property taxes. So there may be some possibilities.

 

You see, I have to be prepared for the day when absinthe is legal in the US. Prepared for A. pontica World Domination!! (evil cackling laugh) :D

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One thing to keep in mind when growing pontica is that about 80% of what is grown is thrown out (at least for liquor making purposes). After the stalk is cut down, the dead leafy portions on the lower part of the stems must be removed prior to drying. After drying the leafy portions are then stripped off. Pontica does not like wet climates, and will mostly thrive on very well drained soil.

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I might as well throw in my .02 cents worth. The pontica plants are recognizable as a fairly early age - maybe 3-4 weeks old. They are a fine delicate lacey plant. Companion mis-shipped me two years ago too. However, I have the answers to your prayers. I have lots of AP growing in raised beds right now! AND if you are a member of the WW Society (who said there were no benifits to membership?) you have a source - FREE! Just pay for the shipping and packageing or pick some up here in Seattle by appointment. I'll dig some up. Just let me know.

 

And it is true that root propagation is the way - in fact you can't stop 'em - they are prolific little devils - they are some kinda weed after all. Mine didn't blossom last season (first transplant year), so I am hoping they will bud soon. I have a friend that has some up the street and his blossomed last year. He has 100% full sun all day but my plants only get 60% sun. If mine don't bud this year - I'm putting them on the roof. I don't think it is mandatory tho for AP to blossom but I would like to compare the difference.

 

They do not get to be 36" tall Abbey so you have not got Pontica.

 

I have about a pound of dried Pontica laying around right now and about 3 sq. yards of live plants about 12" high.

Edited by Aardvark

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One thing to keep in mind when growing pontica is that about 80% of what is grown is thrown out (at least for liquor making purposes). After the stalk is cut down, the dead leafy portions on the lower part of the stems must be removed prior to drying. After drying the leafy portions are then stripped off. Pontica does not like wet climates, and will mostly thrive on very well drained soil.

Thanks so much ZMan for the excellent info. I'll have to plan on building "pontica barns" for the drying of the plants. It's all about world domination you know :D

 

If it grows reasonably well in the Seattle area as Aardvark says, surely it'll do well in upstate NY. I can't imagine that that we have more rain and clouds than Seattle and the Pacific NW B) It's worth a try as far as I'm concerned. A lot of the soils here are not clay based. Plus I have access to lots of free, well aged goat manure.

 

:cheers:

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It does indeeed grow well here. Mine's in potting soil mixed with local dirt on top of peat moss.

If it grows reasonably well in the Seattle area as Aardvark says, surely it'll do well in upstate NY. I can't imagine that that we have more rain and clouds than Seattle and the Pacific NW B) It's worth a try as far as I'm concerned. A lot of the soils here are not clay based. Plus I have access to lots of free, well aged goat manure.

 

:cheers:

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This is Pontica.... Small light & fluffy. Never gets too high off the ground by itself. (Unlike some people I know)

 

Is it possible that wat was sold to me as AA is pontica? I ask because it is single stalk circa 36"

post-33-1154282330_thumb.jpgpost-33-1154282482_thumb.jpg

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NY gets a deeper winter freeze, you'll probably want to mulch it really well after it dies back.

 

 

Very good idea. I think for this area it is an especially good practice. According to Dave's Garden, A. pontica and A. a. are listed with a USDA Hardiness rating 4a (down to -30º F.) It almost never gets that cold here. (Iowa State also lists those ratings, so I'm inclined to think they are correct.)

 

 

This is Pontica.... Small light & fluffy. Never gets too high off the ground by itself. (Unlike some people I know)

 

Wow, Aardvark knows people that levitate. I'm totally impressed. :D

Edited by dakini_painter

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AP speads underground like crazy. ..... I suspect that AA is the same but it takes longer. I noticed my AA stems that laid over & touched the ground put a root into the soil.

 

And it is true that root propagation is the way

Are you referring to AP or the WS?

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