Friday’s Seeds – Soldanella

Soldanellas, the snow bells, are absolutely charming plants. I love them all and would like to grow more of them (I’m not very successful at doing it for now….).
So, I was very happy to find seeds of these two species in the Carpathians; I can at least ‘keep’ them in the Seeds Library, if not in the garden :+)

Soldanella pusilla – a high altitude, calcifuge, miniature snowbell; likes the company of P. minima, Campanula alpina, Rhododendron myrtifolius.

Soldanella pusilla seeds

Soldanella hungarica – has fringed, wide bluish/purple flowers and grows in the shade of Fagus sylvatica stands, many times sharing the place with Saxifraga cuneifolia ssp. robusta.

Soldanella hungarica seeds

 

 

 

 

Friday’s seed – Iris ruthenica

Back to the Friday’s seed with an ad-hoc seeds photo session up in the mountains.
I. ruthenica has a relatively wide distribution from Eastern Europe to Asia, growing usually at subalpine and alpine elevations.
I particularly like it for the fragrant, deep blue/violet, flowers and the narrow leaves which form tufts of grassy ledges on the mountain slopes.

Iris ruthenica falls in the category of arillate irises and since the arils are drying fast, I wanted to capture them as fresh as possible, so not a very good image but it serve its purpose

Spending time on the mountain slope gazing at the blue sky and the rock walls would have been satisfying enough; weaving my hands through the grassy tufts to find the iris capsules made the moment unforgettable. The flowers pictures was taken during another trip, in a different location.

Back with more seeds

I’m back and guess what? – I brought more seeds :)
We cannot remove/transport plants but, no worry they are contained within the seeds: tiny capsules of time and memories, of new places, mountains and blue skies…
A gallery with few images for now, there will be plenty of time for stories when days are getting shorter.

All available seeds, including more local collections will be added to the Shop over the next couple of weeks. Please stay tuned…

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: http://botanicallyinclined.org/growing-jeffersonia-from-seeds/

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: http://www.robertpavlis.com/aspen-grove-gardens/

 

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).

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

Sneaky Saruma

Saruma took advantage I didn’t watch it for a couple of days and dropped its seeds into the ground. Sneaky!

But I still caught some of them ;) and there will be more because, unlike its cousins Asarum species, it flowers on and off throughout the summer.

Saruma henryi fresh seeds – the clustered seeds seem to mimic bird droppings or a caterpillar?; no need for the strategy because they fall to the ground very fast after the fruit splits open.

It joined right away the Moist packed seeds category! Very easy from fresh or moist kept seeds.

In straight line with ‘canadensis’

A last announcement because we enter a straight line towards the celebrations – Sanguinaria canadensis and Asarum canadense freshly collected seeds are on sale (!) for a limited time and while quantities last, of course.

Need to read more about growing Sanguinaria from seeds? – read HERE.

Sanguinaria canadensis seeds

As I said, for this special occasion the celebration will last all season long! More species will be added to the list depending how well the seeds collecting goes.

This is the Canada 150 Celebration Seeds sale list for the moment – take advantage, some items are already getting low in stock ;)

Happy Canada Day!

Kitaibelia vitifolia – representing Croatia and Macedonia

Kitaibelia vitifolia goes around by the common name of Russian hibiscus, and I also used it just to go with the flow. But it’s neither Russian, nor a hibiscus; you can read its whole story below:
http://www.malvaceae.info/Genera/Kitaibelia/Kitaibelia.php

Shortly, the white flowers resemble more Malva flowers and it hails from a territory that belonged to former Yugoslavia.

It is a large plant that looks perfect and enjoys the edge of the woodland garden. I still didn’t grow one for myself but they go very fast from seeds so it’s waiting in line for next spring sowing…

Representing Croatia and Macedonia for the Celebrations, I introduce –
Kitaibelia vitifolia

Kitaibelia vitifolia

A Gentiana representative

We can’t celebrate without a Gentiana and there is no other species easier to grow from seeds (and in the garden) than G. dahurica; granted, I still have a lot of Gentiana species to try.

Laden with blue flowers in mid- summer, it will make both you and the pollinators happy for  a very long time!

Representing China and Mongolia for Canada 150 Celebration Sale –
Gentiana dahurica

Gentiana dahurica