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Sea Foam Teloxys Aristata

About the plant Teloxys Aristata, also known as sea foam, that is used to make ho scale model trees.

The "Sea foam" used for model trees is an imported Scandinavian plant and indeed the one used by Scenic Express for their Super Trees. To my knowledge, it is not sold in the States under any other name. The material is far, far superior to any product available in crafts stores or elsewhere.

Sea foam or Teloxys aristata as it is called. It grows throughout Siberia and even reaches as far west as Poland.

It seems you need to treat them pretty harshly. They prefer to be in poor soil with good drainage and watered only every few days with a good soaking of the soil - most of which water you will loose if you have the right drainage.


What little i know is...

Mon, 2013-06-17 21:06 — kleaverjr

...the plants like a dry sandy soil. They will grow in either cold or hot climate.  But being DRY is essential.I went and bought a cubic yard of the same type of dirt they use for baseball diamonds.Very sandy, very loose. 

I bought my seeds from   HOWEVER, i am NOT certain if what I ordered is the actual correct plant.  This is why I posted this topic.  Whatever seeds I planted is what is growing out in the greenhouse, but i am not certain if it is the Teloxys plant.  So far there is only very thin green leaves, no indication of any kind of flowers whatsoever. 

We shall see.Maybe the flower buds come later in July or August.


You can buy seeds from this company. Chilternseeds

I have had a browse around the rest of the web and found a few sites with information on propogating them but very little on care for young plants. If it helps anyone else considering having a go with these it seems you need to treat them pretty harshly. They prefer to be in poor soil with good drainage and watered only every few days with a good soaking of the soil - most of which water you will loose if you have the right drainage.

Monika can translate this.

So here's the challenge: to grow its zeeschium. It works ? It's profitable?

Rule of the scam.

So I warn you now: I will play in the Julien Courbet you, me. Oh yes, because the zeeschium is basically a big scam!

As a concrete example. About 13 euros for a brand box Berka (model railroading) Reference 8001. Dimensions approximately 18 x 30 x 8cm. Ten feet in it. The feet are not tight in the box, and measure about 20 cm. Some trees is done with, okay. I'm in about 4 or 5 with my method.

Now see another solution. 1 bag of seeds Teloxys Aristata Seafoam (this is the name of zee) cost about 3 euros (Beaumaux seeds, Nancy, looking on Google). Okay, be added in the 6 euros postage. So much order several packages! In one package there are about 1000 seeds. Even if 50% loss is to see ... in any case I've seen! If I sold them at half that price, I pay myself some big resin kits with what I get ...

Let's see how. Let the mouse drag on the images to see the dates of shots.

Zee manual.

In early May, I sow seeds (1 package) in two small furrows spaced 20 to 30 cm and a length of 1 meter. The ground, hoed well, very fine. The exhibition, on my gear, is full sun all day. The shadow comes in the late afternoon.

First, nothing grows for almost 3 weeks (fear, anxiety). I water every day, carefully not to stir the earth. Finally, 3 to 4 weeks later, something pushes. I do not know if it's my seedlings or not, when in doubt I leave. It is in the groove (see close-up with white string), small. Some plants are slightly larger.

It grows very slowly. Mid July, nothing advance; I say it's done for, all you need on vacation two weeks, returning all be dead. Never mind.

June 9 June 9 June 9


Returning in early August, surprise! I find big plants (it has hardly rained, and no watering!) Throughout the sown area. There are not bad, and I say Than Air all this will be beneficial for the larger plants. But it's difficult, everything is too tight and I can not remove small plants without tearing or breaking other shoots: I drop, we'll see.

August 2 August 2 August 2


Second fortnight of August, the shoots are expanding, growing and begin to turn red. I almost sprayed more and it does not rain. It's very hot.

August 23

Colors bis ...

End of August, this time red is predominant, the plants continue to grow. We see hundreds of black seeds on twigs I watered at all, and the heat is stifling all day.

August 31 August 31

Finally picking ...

Finally comes the time to pick. How do I know? We're past mid September, the plants stop growing; the rains returned and it is a sun plant; more wind sometimes begins to break branches. In short I do not know, but I think it's time I tear everything!

September 21 September 21 September 21 September 21

Final conclusion.

The final report is simple. An archive cardboard stuffed to death zee; Thousands of seeds, to recover once the dried harvest and replant the following year; given the size of some plants (see photo with the model that gives the scale), the branches sold commercially are in fact only a SMALL part A SINGLE plant (it kills me, that!); 3 euros give me the amount of about ... I do not know, I ... I would say 50 Berka boxes! Without any exaggeration!

So ... even if I count the picking, packing (it should cost more than the seeds!), And everything, the truck, the margins of middlemen and my dealer ...

... They are a little crazy to sell it the price?

Adding the following year.

Well it's simple: a box harvested without planting anything! The seeds fell when picking after this article gave; the following year, enough to make the Mormal Forest in 72nd!

Okay, I exaggerate a little. But not as much as the prices for what remains a kind of weed ...

When did the actual flowers start showing?  I planted the seeds I received from a seed vendor, and something is growing where I planted the seeds.  Right now it's just green stringy leaves that are sprouting up.  No flowers buds whatsoever. When I pulled a plant out of the soil, the "trunk" of the root was white, with white stringy roots that go deep into the ground.  I'm trying to determine are these teloxys plants or not. 

Thanks for any feedback!

Ken L

Eric H.'s picture

An alternative

Tue, 2013-06-18 08:08 — Eric H.

Have you considered harvesting the blossoms of Smoke Bush trees ? These are pretty common in side and back yards of older neighborhoods. Towards the end of June and through July you should be able to harvest the blossoms easily. I've knocked on doors and asked permission at many homes and retail places and have never been turned away. I've seen these plants in western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia, so I suspect you will see them around Buffalo. Blossom color can range from a light tan to purple-ish. I've picked a few blossoms that are as long as my forearm. The trunks may be skinny, but the blossom can really look like a forest canopy.

Once the blossoms are picked, it's best to poke them into a Styrofoam sheet and hang them upside-down to dry for a couple of months. Once the blossoms have dried, spray paint them with cheap green or dark brown paint and sprinkle on a ground foam mix while the paint is wet.

Scroll down on this page to see an image or two featuring a combination of Smoke Bush blossoms and Oakleaf Hydrangea blossoms used to represent a West Virginia Hillside. The trains are HO scale.

I just recently saw a couple of small Smoke Bush trees near my new home in far west Texas, so they may be found most anywhere.


Eric Hansmann
El Paso, TX

Follow along with my railroad modeling:

Montanan's picture

I'm Lazy (and cheap)

Tue, 2013-06-18 08:59 — Montanan

Living in the western US, sagebrush is abundant and I use it for tree armatures. I cut the dries out branches which even have a natural texture looking exactly like bark. The sagebrush is trimmed to get the desires shape and then I use Woodland Scenics clump foam glued with a hot glue gun, or Poly fiber with the finer ground foam secured to the poly fiber with the cheapest hair spray I can find. I figure my cost per tree at under a dollar each once the sagebrush has been cut.                                                                            Here are a few examples.                                         

Logan Valley RR 


kleaverjr's picture

I'm looking to get away from the poly-fiber made trees

Tue, 2013-06-18 09:06 — kleaverjr

I am cheap as well.  If I can't make my own  "Super Trees" then I will go back to the puff-ball/poly-fiber made canopy of trees for the background. If this years crop is unsuccessful I will make one more attempt at it. Something is growing back there, I just wish I started to see some type of flower structure sprouting.  None yet.

Ken L

messinwithtrains's picture

I'd kill for...

Tue, 2013-06-18 10:08 — messinwithtrains

..someone to come up and hand me a crate full of sagebrush. I've not seen (in photos anyway) a more convincing natural tree armature.

Unfortunately, I live in Indiana, which isn't exactly famous for its huge fields of wild-growing sagebrush.

My trees come from a couple of spirea bushes in my yard. They're popular with homebuilders, because they bloom all summer and are nearly impossible to kill once established. Each December I head outside with scissors and a large bucket and harvest the dead blooms.

Kevin Rowbotham's picture

Tips for growing your own...

Tue, 2013-06-18 14:00 — Kevin Rowbotham

I've not tried these techniques yet myself, they are the findings of others who have grown Teloxys successfully.  I take no responsibility for your level of success or failure.

1.  The seeds germinate best with a dormant (cold) period prior to being sown.  Providing this dormant time will both speed up and improve germination.  Place the seeds to be sown, in the refrigerator or even in the freezer for 30 days before planting.

2.  The plants thrive in a sandy, well drained, nutrient depleted soil.

3. LOTS OF LIGHT!  Plant so the plants will receive the maximum amount of sunlight each day.

4.  Do not sow seeds too thickly.  Plant as thinly as possible.

5.  Keep the sown seeds warm in a heated greenhouse and keep the soil surface moist until seeds germinate, but not soaking wet.  Fine misting is OK but they prefer to be sub-irrigated.  Heavy handed watering is a death sentence to fragile Teloxys seedlings.  Sprouts should emerge in between 1 to 3 weeks depending on the conditions you have provided.  Once seedlings are established allow the soil to dry between watering to avoid damping off (stem rot).

6.  If possible start with small containers to control root structure and then transplant.  Allow about ten inches for each plant to mature fully.

7.  Keep areas weed free.

I know!  How do these ever grow on their own in nature...?


Appreciating Modeling In All Scales but majoring in HO!

Not everybody likes me, luckily not everybody matters.

I don't know guys, the trunks

Thu, 2013-06-20 20:22 — ThatAppyGuy

I don't know guys, the trunks seem too spindly to me. Sedum and goldenrod seem to have heartier trunks. God grows all of mine, right here in East TN, I just go out and pick em when fall gets here. Crepe myrtle branches work well too and they're pretty plentiful here in East TN..

There used to be a company called Alpine Arboretum that used to sell natural growths by the boxful at Timonium train show in Baltimore a few years back. Eric Hansmann might recall that company too, since he was a frequenter of Timonium when he lived in the Mid-Atlantic/East. 



wp8thsub's picture


Thu, 2013-06-20 21:10 — wp8thsub

 ...the trunks seem too spindly to me.

For large trees, sure.  Since the branching pattern of these plants is so useful, use more robust trunks from other sources and add the Teloxys/Supertree material for fine branching.  The same idea works for other natural armatures that don't always have the right shape on their own.

Rob Spangler  MRH Blog

On30guy's picture

the trunks seem too spindly

Fri, 2013-06-21 14:01 — On30guy

the trunks seem too spindly to me

I've always felt the same way so I had a go at fixing the problem. This is what I came up with:

It's cheap, easy and gets rid of that "tiny trunk" syndrome.