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Dependable germinators

and the Rock harlequin

Usually mid-month I check on the moist stored seeds. No surprise this time; Trillium grandiflorum had a wave of germination in October, as per usual. No reason to panic; knowing it will happen I collect more seeds than would sell. The remaining of the seeds will germinate only after a cold period. In the case of T. erectum only very few seeds will germinate in the fall (without a cold period).

What I would like is to be able to tell which ones will germinate right away; unfortunately, these little skotomorphogenetics like to keep a bit of a mystery about themselves…

trillium-grandiflorum-germinated-seeds

Trillium grandiflorum – many seeds will germinate (small tuber and root) at room temperature by November when stored moist after collecting.

What else? Asarum canadense is also one dependable germinator, and so is Allium tricoccum.

asarum-canadense-germinated-seeds

Asarum canadense (wild ginger) – the seeds will grow a small root after a warm period and the leaves will emerge in the spring after a cold period/winter.

Then there is the ‘grand mischief’ – Capnoides sempervirens (formerly a Corydalis).  It will germinate when it likes (from summer to late fall) and where it likes (that is, almost everywhere :) Later the seedlings are easily moved to a desired location or potted up).

I noticed the seedling in the image below since it was very tiny and I enjoyed seeing it grow. To be honest, who else besides the Rock harlequin, would like to call home the tiny space between the garden rock and a cement slab?

capnoides-sempervirens

Capnoides sempervirens (Rock harlequin), young plant from ‘summer’ seeds

Centaurea species seeds don’t need moist keeping but are also dependable germinators, and one result: C. triumfettii ssp. stricta was looking so magnificent yesterday that I couldn’t abstain taking one more picture. Snow will arrive soon and every little flower must be enjoyed!

centaurea-triumfettii-ssp-stricta

Centaurea triumfettii ssp. stricta

 

Seedlings appreciation day

It seems that I am getting behind with this topic. So, although this is a main flowering period, a short presentation of few seedlings (of last week actually, more on the way…).

From the Carpathian Mts. – Centaurea triumfettii ssp. stricta and Saxifraga cuneifolia ssp. robusta – sown directly in moss.

Centaurea triumfetti ssp. stricta

Centaurea triumfettii ssp. stricta

Saxifraga cuneifolia ssp. robusta

Saxifraga cuneifolia ssp. robusta

From N. American wildflowers, the beautiful Geum triflorum and Penstemon eatonii (seedex).

Geum triflorum

Geum triflorum (Prairie smoke)

Penstemon eatonii (Firecracker penstemon)

Penstemon eatonii

Penstemon eatonii

And, also quite a few Gentiana spp. are germinating :) (Gentiana lutea in the featured image).

Centaurea

Centaurs – Greek mythological figures with a man’s upper body and a horse’s lower half. Supposedly, they were using the (Centaurea) flowers for healing (Centaurea scabiosa as header image)

Continuing the year of the thistle with Centaurea spp., which are not true thistles of course, but included in the big family. Actually, there are a few species with a true thistle-like look! Again, leaving the weedy ones apart, there are many worth cultivating besides the common C. nigra, C. montana and variants. ALL Centaurea species are most valuable to bees and attract countless species of butterfly, moths and other insects AND they are easy to grow from seeds!

In many cases, the involucral bracts (phyllaries) are very ornamental, a detail sometimes overlooked but which serves in species identification. Below, a few Centaurea sp. from the Carpathian Mts. (some endemic, some with a wider distribution). Bright pictures for a cloudy day!

Centaurea kotschyana

Centaurea kotschyana

Centaurea kotschyana

Centaurea pseudophrygia

Centaurea pseudophrygia

Centaurea pseudophrygia

Centaurea triumfettii ssp. stricta

Centaurea triumfettii ssp. stricta

Centaurea triumfettii ssp. stricta

And how about the yellow-flowered Centaurea? Here is the rare yellow form of C. kotschyana:

Centaurea kotschyana yellow form

Centaurea kotschyana yellow form

Two species in the Newly arrived Seeds category: C. salonitana and C. orientalis also have yellow flowers, but there are many other species. And I think the dwarf Centaurea drabifolia (endemic of Turkey!), seen here in the Rock garden at the Montreal Botanic Garden, can very well conclude this short post on Centaurea.

Centaurea drabifolia

Centaurea drabifolia

I hope I convinced at least a few to pay more attention to Centaureas. I look forward to combine in our garden, the yellow Centaurea salonitana together with Salvia pratensis in a flower bed, while the smaller Centaurea triumfettii ssp. stricta will be attracting butterflies in the rockery area ;)

You can also see the Carpathian Mts. endemic Centaurea pinnatifida here.