Stinky seeds

trudi_dFebruary 20, 2006

I have some penstemon plants here that make stinky seeds--like PU catbox stink. The plants have NOT been spritzed by cats--it's their seeds that stink that way. Yuccch.

Does anyone have some suggestions for descenting them? I've already tried placing them in the sun on a plate and airing them--but it doesn't seem to have changed their scent. I don't want to spray them with lysol and dry them again--I'm concerned with sending seeds that have any artificial additives coating them.



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Hi, Trudi. This is waaaay to funny; I thought it was just me (I mean just my penstemon, not ME)! My 'Husker Red' just reeks. I warned the recipient so that she wouldn't think I sent rancid seeds, LOL.

What to do? I don't think we're supposed to do anything, except maybe warn the recipient, if any...

Say, off topic I have a WS question for you, so please check in and take a peek, okay?


    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 4:45PM
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I sat down with my Print Master Program and made a mini-label with two skunks surrounding the words STINKY SEEDS!

I'll use plastic for packing the seeds and add a label to each.

Hopefully I'll be forgiven ;-)


    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 4:52PM
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Good idea about the plastic, Trudi; although sometimes you can smell right thru it, LOL. Thank goodness the flowers don't stink!


    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 4:39PM
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I often wondered why my cat always goes over to my "Husker Red" after opening the deck door. She's generally an indoor cat, but I let her out once in a while. Last year I harvested my "Husker Red" by cutting off the stem and sticking in a paper bag to harvest. It was truly a rude awakening when I went to get some seed! I don't think anything works to de-scent them. When I trade them, I put them in a plastic ziplock wrapped in a piece of coffee filter, and too, label 'STINKY' seeds, lol...

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 11:51AM
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Just an time I get a 'stinker' of a trade, I think I'll send a charming thank you note, and include some 'Husker Red' seed just to demonstrate no hard feelings, LOL

Just kidding, right?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 10:02AM
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ljrmiller(z7 NV)

NOW I'm going to HAVE to try saving Penstemon seeds. I've got P. palmeri, P. eatonii, P. parryi and P. strictus growing happily in my garden. I'm a biologist by profession, and like most biologists, I have a certain weakness for Really Bad Smells.

Curiously, Fritillaria agrestis (common name Stinkbells) seed does NOT smell of anything.

Some Salvia varieties, specifically S. clevelandii, have a pleasant scent.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 4:43PM
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Hi Lisa,

I know that some people can detect scents that others can't. Hubs and I often walk at beautiful Old Westbury Gardens, where they have a boxwood garden. I say they smell like a month old catbox on a rainy day, Hubs doesn't notice them at all. Some folks say that cleome stinks like that, but I can't notice it. I did open up my rubbermaid container of penstemon seeds for him to whiff and he agreed they're stinky, but he said just a bit. I think they are downright awful PU Gross. As usual we have a tendancy to argue over everything, including how bad seeds stink.

To each their own, but keep a nose-pinching clothespin nearby!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 4:49PM
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romando(9b/10a , sunset 17)

I think that centranthus ruber (red valarian) stinks like rotten toe cheese...
... and society garlic smells like skunk...

Amanda 'romando'

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 7:10PM
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inthegarden_k(z7 NC)

do your husker red come true from seed? or are helf of them green? i like the leaves better than the flowers :)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 12:54AM
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delightp(5/ IN)

My penstemon hirsutus seeds are stinky for awhile but it seems to go away after they dry a bit more. I think I was harvesting them a little too early. Do they need cold before they sprout?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 9:32PM
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I've not noticed that they need it. MAny of the pentemons I have were started outside in July, I also start them with Winter Sowing. They are, like many perennials, very easy to get going.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 10:00PM
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delightp(5/ IN)

Thanks Trudy, some new houses are being built behind me and most of mine were killed during the wiring (I'm the lucky one with the box at the corner). Had a few seeds so I stuck them in a pot to see what happened.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 7:18PM
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