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How promiscuous are pansies, exactly?

Posted by girlndocs 8 WA (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 14, 06 at 16:47

OK, since I learned to wintersow and have actually been able to make pansies grow, I'm on a pansy glut, buying seeds from all the varieties I've always loved but never thought I could grow. I have a separate bed set aside for my pansy collection and everything.

Anyway, I just ordered some seed for Chalon Giants with ruffled blooms. I like the ruffles, but I don't think I would want all my pansies to end up ruffled, which I'm afraid they eventually will if I have them all mixed together and collect seed from them.

Does anybody know if the ruffles are a dominant trait, or if they'll even persist in the offspring of the Chalon Giants? Can I collect seed with confidence that I'll maintain a nice mix of ruffled and non-ruffled, or should I segregate the Chalons? (And would segregating them even do any good in an average sized backyard?)



Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How promiscuous are pansies, exactly?

First make sure that the varieties you want to collect seeds from are not protected and thus
against the law to save.

Most Viola including pansy produce clestegmous (sp?) flowers that do not open, and seed from
those flowers breed true to type, its infrequently that the larger showy flowers produce seed, so I
would not worry much about them crossing.

RE: How promiscuous are pansies, exactly?

Do you know how to collect seeds from Pansies? I've got a small pot of black prince pansies loaded with flowers but I can't seem to find any seeds. :(

RE: How promiscuous are pansies, exactly?

Helen (wannarunfaster)-- pansies will make a big fat bulbous seed pod where the flower used to be. If you watch it carefully, you will notice when it starts to split open. When it splits, it's often too late, because most of the seeds get catapulted away (and I mean, AWAY-- I find seedlings coming up way across the garden) when the pod bursts open. But sometimes, a few seeds remain in the star-like open pod, so by all means look! The seeds are small, and range in color from cream to beige. It seems to me (though I could be just imagining this) that pansy seeds tend to be a bit darker than viola seeds, but other than that, they look the same.

Amanda 'romando'

RE: How promiscuous are pansies, exactly?

Helen, any plant that still has flowers will not have any seeds on it. Once a flower is pollinated, it "dies" and the seed vessel begins to grow (unless the plant is a sterile one).

Deadheading pansies will keep the plant from producing seed. To get the seeds you have to let it stop flowering more or less in its natural time and then, as Amanda says, it will develop drooping, egg-shaped, 1/4" or so seed pods where the flowers were.

I was thinking of tying a little pouch of pantyhose or similar over the whole seed pod for varieties I want to make extra sure I get seed from. The pouch would catch the seed. It would have to be a pretty small, fiddly pouch though. Maybe a small paper bag over the whole dang plant would be more practical.


RE: How promiscuous are pansies, exactly?

Thanks Amanda and Kristin,

I'm just catching on to seed collecting, and sometimes it just seems impossible to find the seed pods and I really, really want to save some from the black prince before the summer heat hits it and kills it off!

Thank you both!

PS Amanda, I haven't forgotten about your super dwarf!

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