Seed Gathering Questions: Anise, Lobelia, Brachycome

merricat(Zone 3a Canada)October 28, 2005

Here's the first batch, and the one that's going to drive me insane. I mean "more that usual".

  
Anise Hyssop
  
A terrific plant which spits out a billion seeds. TINY seeds. Super\-seeder, much like catnip is. A pretty great plant: huge purple fuzzy flowers, amazing licorice smell, a nice tea. 
  
\- some seeds are black, some brown. All viable?

Lobelia (Lobelia erinus)
  
I \*think\* the amber\-coloured almost\-dust\-mote\-sized bits are the seeds (next year I'll get individual seedheads and pour them out, but this year it's gather and hunt). 

Swan River Daisy (Brachycome iberidifolia)
  
Pretty little flowers, and I think I can rescue some seedheads. Only 1 pot, and it was neglected. I'll do my best.

QUESTIONS:

Do any of these 3
  
\- need to be chilled? 
  
\- need any (other) special treatment?
  
\- have to be fermented?

Is there an easy\-ish way to sort tiny seeds from the plant\-scruff? My eyes are crossing. 

I've got roughly 40 plants to de-seed and store. Do you think it's better to ask as I go along, or make one big "I'm clueless, please help!" list? (Come to think of it, that would be a nice seed-preview - "coming attractions", of course.)

Either way, I thank you in advance for your (always generous and invaluable) help.

Salut,

- Merry

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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

Anise Hyssop
A terrific plant which spits out a billion seeds. TINY seeds. Super-seeder, much like catnip is. A pretty great plant: huge purple fuzzy flowers, amazing licorice smell, a nice tea.
- some seeds are black, some brown. All viable?

I don't know if all the black and browm seeds are viable, but I find that you get so many seeds that it doesn't matter - just sprinkle a very small pinch of seeds over your sowing container and you'll have a big clump that'll need thinning. as an aside, you'll find that tons of seeds will have germinated outdoors near your plants. I never bother sowing these seeds myself - I just dig up a clump 'o seedlings and put it in a pot. I pull up the rest of the seedlings, because there's always a ton of them, but they come out really easily, so it's not a problem.

This doed not need cold treatment, but it is a good wintersowing candidate, if you're into that. Indoors I'd start it 4-6 weeks early.

Lobelia (Lobelia erinus)
I *think* the amber-coloured almost-dust-mote-sized bits are the seeds (next year I'll get individual seedheads and pour them out, but this year it's gather and hunt).

I just save the dried flowers more or less intact and crush them over the soil when I sow them. The seeds are so fine that I can't see it being worth the effort to seperate them out!

Doesn't need cold, needs to be started on the early side indoors - I start mine about 8-10 weeks early.

Swan River Daisy (Brachycome iberidifolia)
Pretty little flowers, and I think I can rescue some seedheads. Only 1 pot, and it was neglected. I'll do my best.

This also has small seeds, but not nearly as small as lobelia! I'd just save a dried seedhead and crumble it over the soil as well.

I've never grown this one from seed, but based on simmilar ones I've grown, I'd guess it doesn't need cold either, and should probably be started some 6-8 weeks early.

A lot of people go to a lot more fuss than is necessary with seeds. As long as you let the flower head dry completely, there's no harm in storing the seeds that way. I also have to toss in my two cents on the fermentation issue (particularly for tomato seeds) - it's a messy, smelly process that I've found to be unnecessary. I have germination rates of 95-100% without it, so I can't see why it's worth the trouble :-)

BP

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 12:22PM
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durward

I have several plants of "Blue Fortune" anise hyssop planted and they have been blooming since the end of May. Could you tell me how I know when the seeds are ready to harvest and what method I utilize to harvest the seeds. How do you know when the seed head is ripe? You time and help is greatly appreciated.

Durward Bishop

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 7:17PM
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merricat(Zone 3a Canada)

Deward, I can't answer your questions personally because I have no way of getting in touch with you. Your email came to me with no problem, but you've chosen to hide your email AND I can't get to the "send me an email" connection on your page because (I guess) you've disabled that too.

You can either mail me directly, or take a look at Bonnie's advice (just above your post). She's a marvellous resource and a wonderful, helpful person. What she says is pretty much spot on: when you harvest, just gather the seedheads and sprinkle them over soil. I did so, and over 200 came up and grew beautifully.

If you want pictures of what seedheads look like, try this: go to Google, and enter these terms:

PLANTFILES (name of plant)

The name can be common, latin, or a combination of the two.

PLANTFILES Blue Fortune ANISE HYSSOP

will bring you to the correct page. I've included a link to that page at the bottom of this message.

You'll come to the "Dave's Garden" site, and I've yet to have a plant they don't have in the database. If you use their in-site DB they only let you search a little (I think it's 10 a day?), but I just Google it for all my info.

I'm sure there are many other excellent sites out there. This just happens to be the one I use. Often.

Merri

Here is a link that might be useful: Blue Fortune/ANISE HYSSOP pages

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 4:40PM
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