Simplicity – Geum triflorum

Easy to grow in the garden and from seeds, this North American Geum is an absolute a delight!  An unpretentious, care free plant in most locations; sun and good drainage required. Best when planted in large numbers for the ‘smoky’ effect of the feathery seed heads (Prairie Smoke ;) in the summer.

Geum triflorum – Prairie Smoke, Old Man’s wiskers; rosy-red, nodding calyces/flowers, followed by feathery seed heads; the compact, ferny looking foliage will become reddish in the fall.

Propagation from seeds: I did a whole bunch last year – sown in the fall and left outside (cold/moist stratification) and the germination was excellent; I planted the seedlings in the garden by late fall.
The grown up clumps can be easily divided every few years.

Note: Other sources indicate sowing at warm.

Geum triflorum seeds head

The thing about Sanguinaria

…is that the seeds can have two types of morphophysiological dormancy (after Baskin & Baskin):

  • In the first case the roots will emerge in late fall after a warm stratification and the shoots growth will begin in the following spring (= after cold stratification); deep simple epicotyl dormancy.

Sanguinaria canadensis: seeds sown in summer 2016 – complete germination April 2017

  • In the second case (said to occur in about 49% of seeds according to a study), the shoots growth will begin in the second spring after sowing; deep simple double dormancy.

Sanguinaria canadensis: seeds sown in late summer 2015 – complete germination in 2017

The lots of seeds shown were collected from different sites, and I wonder if this was also a decisive/only factor in displaying the different types of dormancy. It is well known that the germination dormancy traits have a genetic component.

Temperatures in the summer/winter may also have role; to be sure I will try to repeat the sowing with seeds of both populations/at the same time. It would be nice to know and collect seeds from certain populations knowing they will germinate in the first year after sowing.

Note: To be clear, for Sanguinaria we are only talking about fresh/or moist kept seeds.


Out in the woods – Hepatica

It is that time of year when Hepaticas are flowering in the woods (and in the garden). Scouting in areas with large populations always leads to finding interesting forms!
The Hepatica acutiloba specimens shown below are isolated clumps and there is a good chance that a good proportion of the seedlings to come true to the mother-plants.

Hepatica acutiloba 1 – 2017

Hepatica acutiloba 2 – 2017

As well, this is the first find of a Hepatica americana with true pink flowers

Hepatica americana pink – 2017

Semi-double forms are not that rare as the pink flowered, but still a nice find.

Hepatica americana sd- 2017

The Hepatica shop section will be updated as soon as we’ll be able to tell how the seed forming is going on.

Also Claytonia virginica is in flower and soon Sanguinaria canadensis….a kind reminder that the Pre-orders page is up and running!
Usually there are plenty of Sanguinaria seeds and they keep well in moist storage, but asking for seeds of Claytonia, Erythronium and some of the special forms of Hepatica late in the fall, can only lead to disappointment…

It’s Corydalis time!

To say I like Corydalis very much would be an understatement. The delicate, ferny foliage and early, colourful flowering of many species, make them wonderful spring harbingers.
Quite a few tuberous species are easy to grow in the garden in our cold climate (I usually don’t fuss around with pots, except for seedlings): C. solida especially, but also C. caucasica, C. packozy, C. cava, C. bracteata and probably few others.

Corydalis solida seedlings

Corydalis paczosky seedlings

The same applies for rhizomatous species like C. nobilis, the Pseudofumaria group (formerly C. lutea and C. alba), C. ophiocarpa, C. incisa; also the North American Capnoides sempervirens.

Corydalis nobilis seedlings

Corydalis incisa and C. ophiocarpa which were grown under lights are already advanced.

I agree it is much easier to buy plants (if available), but for a fast increase of the personal collection, growing from seeds is the better option, not to mention cheaper. They germinate very well if sown fresh or after moist storage. Sowing asap and keeping the pots outdoors (i.e., a warm/cold treatment) is the best option (by asap I don’t mean next day, the seeds sown up to about a month after collecting are OK even if not kept moist).
All you have to do is sow, cover the pots/trays with a mesh and keep them in a partly shaded area; water once in a while. For the winter, place in an area that usually gets covered in snow (or where it is easy to pile snow on top) or a cold garage. By spring they will start to germinate.

For the more adventurous there is also the option on sowing the seeds directly in the garden, reproducing their natural way of multiplying; the seeds are dispersed and buried by ants which feed on the elaiosomes, for which reason, in time they will show up in various places around the garden.

Same applies for Claytonia or any of the other spring flowering species that are best sown fresh: Dicentra, Hepatica, Erythronium, Anemone quinquefolia, Sanguinaria and so on – more about all these soon…

See more Corydalis pictures below in the related posts.

Stress relief – Rhodiola sachalinensis

Nothing is better for stress relief than sowing or transplanting seedlings. More than this, I had the perfect seedlings for the purpose – of Rhodiola sachalinensis.

Rhodiola sachalinensis and other Rhodiola species, particularly R. rosea, have long been used as traditional medicinal plants in Asia and Eastern Europe for various ailments, and they have been categorized as adaptogen plants, similar to the better known ginseng species. Besides this, they make for excellent rock garden plants.

Rhodiola sachalinensis grows wild in the mountainous regions of China, Japan, Korea and Russia (Altai region). Unfortunately, it is a dioecious species and the ones that survived from a batch of seedlings started 2 years ago, turned out to be all male plants at flowering.

So, I sowed a few more seeds and I will keep all the transplanted seedlings hoping that at least one will be female. Some were a bit more robust and already showed the nice, thickened caudex; I couldn’t abstain taking a picture:

Rhodiola sachalinensis seedlings

Rhodiola semenovii will have to wait to be sown next year, and I don’t have a picture of it, but here it is Rhodiola rosea in its wild habitat (Carpathian Mts.)

Rhodiola rosea




Report on the shipping rates

I’ve been secretly working on adding new shipping rates and I’m happy to ‘report’ that it’s done! I’ve hoped to finish by the time the first signs of spring appear in the woodlands and the timing was right – Dirca palustris is just starting to flower, the first Allium tricoccum shoots are emerging and the Spring beauty (Claytonia virginica) will soon burst into flower.

As of April 1st, new shipping and handling rates will apply for all orders – Shipping & Delivery. No need to remember them though because they are displayed on the shopping cart as soon as the country of the destination is entered – simple and clear!

They allow more choices for both domestic and international customers, a very low rate for small international orders (I’ve been listening ;), free shipping for specific amounts, and so on…Coupon codes will be applied as usual.

These settings took me out of my computer ‘comfort zone’ but the hard work is done and the framework is in place; further tweaks will be easy to apply – only the sky is the limit, or better said the bottom of the ocean because there is nowhere lower to go than these shipping rates ;)

Enjoy – grow more plants from seeds this season!

The woodland is quietly awakening

And, for those who don’t know – besides the blog, you can now follow, and if possibly like ;0 BotanyCa Plant Seeds on our facebook


Intention – Podophyllum delavayi

My intention was to write a longer post detailing the germination/seedlings growing of a few Chinese Podophyllum species, but by the time the evening came the desire to do that has vanished.

As a proof of my good faith I will let you admire last year’s Podophyllum delavayi seedlings. Last year by this time they were like this:

Podophyllum delavayi seedling, March 24/2016

And today, when I ‘performed’ an emergency repotting, like this:

Podophyllum delavayi – one year old ‘seedlings’ sharing the same pot

Podophyllum delavayi one-year old – showing extensive root system

It was a good intention though…

Update on Corydalis nobilis

Very simple – this is happening when the Corydalis nobilis seeds are kept moist/warm followed by a cold period. Be careful what you wish for! :))

Friday’s Seeds – Tiger Iris

A few new Iris seeds from the rare side, so pictures are warranted. Despite its name, Iris tigridia (common name Tiger iris) is a completely harmless iris ;) hailing from the Altai region of Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China. Not an easy one, but extremely beautiful dwarf iris with blue streaked petals.

Images in wild habitat: Iris tigridia

Iris tigridia seeds

Iris potaninii, similar in habit (and distribution), has light to deep yellow flowers. As well from dry, rocky mountain slopes.

Images in wild habitat: Iris potaninii

Iris potaninii seeds

They both belong to the group of arillate Irises; I will update this post later with soaked seeds images to better observe the arils.


Snowflakes by design: Mitella diphylla

Myriads of Mitella diphylla flowers are still falling from the sky. I noticed that not too many people are familiar with this dainty North American woodlander; what a pity…

It can be found in deciduous woodlands in part shaded areas, most often at the edges of the forest; easily noticeable despite its small flowers, it will flower somewhere at the beginning of May. A better timetable is to consider that it flowers at the same time with Trillium grandiflorum, Uvularia grandiflora and Coptis trifolia.

Mitella diphylla, Two-leaved bishop’s cap (Fam. Saxifragaceae) – Tall flowering stems carrying small, fringed, snowflakes shaped flowers above a pair of leaves. Fruits are dehiscent capsules with many small, black seeds.

Mitella is not an easy subject to capture on camera

What I like even more about it is that the basal leaves are evergreen; a most useful character in our climate with long flowerless periods. I cannot take a picture in the garden right now, but I have one from the previous garden showing it together with Cyclamen hederifolium and Hepatica in late November.

Mitella diphylla, Cyclamen and Hepatica foliage in November

Propagation: easy from seeds (sown in the fall) and mine has started to flower in the third year. After it gets established it can also be divided (it forms a rather tight clump so there is no worry about potential invasiveness).

Mitella diphylla seeds

The genus name Mitella comes from the Greek ‘mitra’= cap and the common name bishop’s cap or mitrewort refers to the cap-shaped fruit.