Collecting Seeds of Salvia darcyi

susanlynne48(OKC7a)September 24, 2011

I have to admit I am stumped. I know "where" the seed is, but the "when" to collect it boggles my brain. By the time the calyx turns brown it seems to be too late and the seed has dropped. Too early, and they don't appear to be ripe yet. Can someone clue me in?

Susan

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robinmi_gw

I know exactly what you mean. You need to check every day.......look for calyces which have opened but not yet brown, you should find black, viable seeds inside. Let them dry for a while until the seeds are ready to pop out. Often after a night with heavy dew, collect the brown calyces, dry them on paper, and you should get plenty of seeds.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 6:06PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Thanks, Robin! I think I finally found one today that had not dropped its seed yet. I discovered by reading the FAQ on the seed saving guide that if you look down into the calyx you can see the seed sitting there, and you can tell if it's ripe yet or not. I found a tannish colored calyx and opened it up and several seed spilled out - ripe, they were a dark brown to black color. Problem is, I wasn't prepared for the number of seeds the capsule contained, and it all spilled on the ground. There must have been 8-10 seeds in it! I thought there would be fewer than that because from what I read there should only be up to 4 seeds, one in each chamber?????

I've got to get some paper bags so I can collect the calyces and store them until they've dried out. The seeds are tiny in comparison to the size of the blooms on darcyi.

Susan

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 9:15PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Beware of seed that has gotten damp afrer ripening, as they may retain mold spores in the glutinous seed coat after they re-dry.

I pinch the mouths of the calyx shut and pull down towards the lower part of the stem to keep the seeds from falling out. Do the ripest seeds first, as they shatter off the base easily. Harvester ants might also like to collect seeds, then there are finches. Seeds that have started ripening (turning brown) will continue ripening when picked, but have a slightly lower germination rate. This ploy is worth doing on contingencies like a short time window before a frost, or from a branch that has been broken before its time.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 12:51PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Thanks, Rich, will do. I planted a patch of Sunflowers for the finches and so far, they only seem interested in gleaning seed from them and nothing else, well, except for the Coneflower seeds. They like the Sunflowers because they are the multiple branching kind where they can perch, play, and eat!

Susan

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 7:28AM
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