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

Aquilegia flabellata var. pumila – celebrate diversity

This little fan-shaped columbine is one of my ‘rock-pile’ jewels and it had a good flowering followed by a good seed setting. Considering that I don’t have many species from Eastern Asia, I think it is a good representative of that side of the world to join the Canada 150 Celebration Sale category!

The plant you see in the picture was grown from seeds; true that with all Aquilegia spp. you can obtain some seedlings not entirely true to name, but it’s not always a rule.

Aquilegia flabellata var. pumila – Dwarf fan-shaped columbine

I think I have to hurry up – not much time is left…

 

Canada 150 Celebration Seeds Sale!

Canada is 150 years old this year!

In the spirit of celebration, I thought to join the party and kick off a festive sale before the new seed wave arrives. I wanted to wait until I collect the Sanguinaria next week but entrepreneur ;) people already noticed the new category in the shop so it’s time to let everyone know about the celebration!

If the mood strikes and I can collect enough seeds, to celebrate our diversity :) species representing other colours will be included, so stayed tuned.

Click on the image to see the list; it is a bit short for now but few interesting things out there. More species will be added when new seeds become available. Some will be on sale just for a short time while for others the party will go on all year long!

*This offer can be combined with other coupon discounts (ORGS, SRGC, vip); they will apply only for non-sale items in the cart.

Refreshing – Aconitum ‘Ivorine’

White on blue is a refreshing combo. Yesterday, amidst the heat wave I took few pictures of Aconitum ‘Ivorine’ just starting flowering.
Pure white, tinged with green flowers on sturdy stems make this Aconitum very appealing.  The bluish background provided by Juniperus ‘Wichita’ is pure serendipity – most of my plants were planted where I could find a proper space in this new garden without much thinking of colour combinations.

Aconitum septentrionale ‘Ivorine’

It doesn’t clump excessively, which is unfortunate; I could use more seeds, so this is the next ‘ivory’ generation! Very easy to germinate if the seeds are sown fresh or kept moist and allowed a warm/cold cycle. The pots can be brought indoors around February to germinate and grown under lights will achieve a better growth by June. I had no more space available this year so they germinated outside somewhere beginning of May.

Aconitum septentrionale ‘Ivorine’ freshly transplanted seedlings

 

 

 

Transition – Hepatica seeds added to the shop!

The Hepatica seeds were added to the shop!

Seeds of the more special forms were only enough for pre-orders and trades with friends. Taking into consideration that most often there are 1-2 specimens to collect seeds from, it is understandable. Considering that all seeds are open pollinated, we can always obtain a ‘special’ form even from the most regular H. americana seeds because they were collected from the same populations.
As well, there is no guarantee that from one of the special forms all seedlings will come true to type.

They all grow together and they are all wonderful!

The most important thing is that you don’t need to worry about germination. I even did a small experiment and went the ‘grower style’ by sowing in the cell packs ;) The first flower will appear in the third year if plants grow well.

I would like to show, again, the transition that seeds undergo during storage.  Don’t worry that after seeing the pictures of fresh green/yellowish seeds you will receive ‘black’ ones. The former is the normal transition of the outer tegument during maturation. Also, at this stage, the white elaiosomes are not visible anymore (their only function being to attract the ants who disperse the fresh seeds).

Sanguinaria, woodland poppies (Stylophorum sp.) and the gingers – soon to join the moist group!

 

 

Tricotyledony in Swertia perennis

The spontaneous formation of more than the usual number of cotyledons within a species has been referred as pleiocotyly or polycotyly.
I’m sure for many this already comes with the exclamation – boring!!!

But, this is not a common event and I didn’t find any source reporting it for Gentianaceae so, here it is, my short personal communication about spontaneous  tricotyledony in Swertia perennis L. – Fam. Gentianaceae.

Swertia perennis seedlings with three cotyledons among normal ones (6 from about 22 seedlings)

And yes, even more boring and without any pretty picture!

The genetic basis for natural variation in the cotyledon number is still to be completely understood and although not extensively researched it has been reported in Populus, Prosopis, Acacia, Helianthus annuus, Solanum lycopersicum, Raphanus and few other species.

It has been speculated that additional cotyledons may result in better development and establishment of the seedlings; I’ll see how the little tri -Swertias develop :) and report back about them.

Swertia perennis – google images