AGS Seed Exchange: A good time to collect seed
Started by: Tim IngramGo to latest contribution by Tim Ingram, 15 August 2011, 16:14. Go to bottom of this page.
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Prompted by Diane Clement's 'Midland Diary' I have just been looking over the alpines in our front garden and seed is ripe on quite a few of them. Edraianthus are amongst my favourite plants and I find their seed capsules particularly interesting. I am only just in time to catch the seed! Three examples here are E. pumilio (owerinianus), which is shown in flower elsewhere on the sand bed; E. graminifolius; and E. serpyllifolius, seed not yet ripe.
Gentiana verna is one of those plants which seed should be collected regularly and sown quite quickly in the autumn, whereas the little Silene pusilla should germinate well from seed sown with warmth in the spring. The Triteleia normally self-sows very freely and is very fine in flower.
Finally Dianthus 'Badenia'. This a good short-stemmed cultivar which I had from Allan Robinson when he was at Wisley. I normally propagate it from cuttings but this year it has set a little seed. The second picture though shows that it is pretty unlikely to breed true and here it has self-sown to produce a much taller flowering seedling, still quite striking in its way but with an untidy habit. But perhaps something interesting will arise!
Seed collecting continues apace. Scilla hyacinthoides, which flowered for the first time this spring, has some nice seed on it, though it may only be the patient gardener prepared to sow it and wait for the resultant bulbs to flower. Other seed includes irises, many umbellifers, and other larger early flowering perennials. Many of these will be sown fairly soon in early autumn to give as close to the natural cycle of temperature and climate as possible. The advantage of the Discussion section of the website (if it could be more widely used) is that it helps remind and stimulate one to get out into the garden and do these things, in the manner of a diary but sharing information more widely. I do wonder why it is not used more??