Last minute seeds collecting and away on holidays

Good news for those who pre-order, I did a last minute seeds collecting and cleaning  of Trillium grandiflorum! In case someone doesn’t notice the banner on the front page and stumbles on the blog here:

The Seeds Shop and all other activities, except seed collecting :) are suspended until August 10!

It is preferably to not place orders; if it happens, don’t worry, shipping will resume after August 10.

To quote John Muir – “The mountains are calling and I must go”. I’ll be back….


Friday’s Seed – Jeffersonia diphylla

During a visit to the Aspen Groves Gardens to leave a few of my ‘precious’ seedlings for babysitting, I have also been ‘presented’ with nice, fresh and fat seeds of Jeffersonia diphylla :)

The seeds don’t keep very well in moist storage and I will be trying a new method this year, but you may never know how it goes…I recommend to those who have been waiting for it, to get hold of the seeds right now (orders are accepted until July 12th, then the Shop will be closed till August 10th).

All you need to know is here:

Jeffersonia diphylla, Twinleaf; few seeds still attached to the fruit wall.

Jeffersonia diphylla seeds – 1 mm grid


And btw, those living in driving distance from Guelph, Ontario – this Saturday, July 8, Aspen Grove Gardens of Robert and Judy Pavlis are open for visiting from 10 am- 4 pm.  Don’t miss the opportunity!

Read more and see pictures here:


Note: Besides sowing fresh or moist kept seeds, I emphasize again the requirement for good germination.

Baskin & Baskin have shown that ripe seeds of Jeffersonia diphylla have an underdeveloped embryo. Seeds need high summer temperatures (30˚C) in order for the embryo to develop optimally and reach at least one mm in length before dormancy can be broken by cold stratification. If this requirement is not met, another warm/cold cycle is required by the seeds to germinate.

Jeffersonia diphylla two-year old plant

The Goldthread

One little species I’ve just managed to collect seeds from, although not an easy task, is the Goldthread – Coptis trifolia.

A member of Ranunculaceae with circumboreal distribution, Coptis enjoys cooler, moist conditions in deciduous or coniferous forests and often grows on mossy bumps on the wetland edges together with other species like Medeola, Clintonia, Viola macloskeyi, Skunk cabbage…

Coptis trifolia, Goldthread; the name goldthread comes from the golden-yellow, thin rhizomes that were chewed by Native Americans to treat mouth sores, and later used as ingredients in gargles for sore throats and eye washes.

Every year I have the privilege to admire the white, rich in nectar flowers early in the spring, at the same time when Hepatica is in flower. It will put up new shiny, evergreen trifoliate leaves after is done flowering and setting seeds.

About the seeds, well, being a Fam. Ranunculaceae member I found sources saying it requires moist storage to preserve viability. I was reluctant given the small seeds to keep it that way before (plus I never had too many seeds anyway).
But going deeper into the subject, it seems that the tiny seeds contain an even tinier underdeveloped embryo.

Coptis trifolia capsules and seeds (1 mm grid)

So, in keeping with our no-DOD policy, for this season the seeds were pre-packaged in moist vermiculite and a few packets are available in the shop – Coptis trifolia.
I don’t know how well they will keep in moist storage being the first time I try, so better take advantage….

Like other Ranunculaceae with similar seed collection times and underdeveloped embryos, for best germination I recommend a warm period followed by a cold one (it is possible to require a second warm/cold cycle and germination to occur in the second year).

Coptis trifolia was first described as Helleborus trifolius by Linnaeus in 1753.