Collecting black cohosh (cimicifuga racemosa) seeds

beatrice_outdoors(6a MA)January 12, 2012

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to collect black cohosh seeds? I have tried for two years running with some, but not great success, waiting for he pods to turn brown, dry, and open slightly before collecting. The first year I got NOTHING.

The second year I waited longer, but because so many of the pods had opened so far, when shaken I could hear seeds rattling around, and only a few of the pods had seeds, I harvested the entire batch. I was afraid I had missed the "good" harvesting time and was collecting only the dregs of what was left.

What I ended up with were a lot of very immature seeds, and a small batch of those that were ready. I was still on the early side of the "good" harvest time, not the late.

I'm thinking of wrapping the leg of a cutoff pantyhose around the frond and just letting it do it's thing next year, and not even thinking about it until the plant dies back. Thinking about how that will look has me laughing, though.

I'd love to hear any suggestions how to be more successful in my seed collecting of this plant. At least I have the one plant that is getting bigger-last resort will be to split it in another few years.

Beatrice

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