Seed Collecting

Today I started collecting seeds from my gardens.  There’s not a lot ready yet but the Spring blooming flowers are going dormant so it’s time for me to get busy.  This year (due to a couple of questions I got on Facebook) I’m going to try and photograph and record the  look of the dried seed pods and the seeds themselves as I collect them.  I’ll also include a photo of the plant’s flower in full bloom for reference.   So far I’ve collected 4 different types of seeds.  In general, try to wait to collect your own seeds until your flower / seed pod is almost completely brown.  In most instances, the seeds will release quickly from the seed head at that time.  There are a few stubborn exceptions to the rule of course.  You can click on the pictures below to get a larger view.

 

Columbine “Bordeaux Barlow”.  Blooms are about 1.5″ across and seed pods are about the same size in length.  They have tiny, black seeds that are only about 1 or 2 mm long.

Bordeaux Barlow Columbine
Bordeaux Barlow Columbine

Bordeaux Barlow Bloom
Bordeaux Barlow Bloom

 

Giant Purple Allium.  Seed heads are pretty large – about 3-4 inches across. They look kind of like a firework and the seeds are usually ready when the heads start turning yellowish / brown.   The seeds are black and only about 2-3 mm in size.

Allium Giant Purple Seed Head
Allium Giant Purple Seed Head
Allium Giant Purple Seed
Allium Giant Purple Seed
Tiny Giant Allium Seed
Tiny Giant Allium Seed
Giant Purple Allium in Bloom
Giant Purple Allium in Bloom

 

Onion Chives.  Seed heads look like ratty, little, round mops.  They measure about 1 inch across.  The seeds are black, small and kind of oval in shape.  Measure about 2mm.

Onion Chives Blooms
Onion Chives Blooms
OnionChives2
Onion Chives Seeds
ChivesBlooms
Onion Chives Blooms

 

Easter Wild Red Columbine.  These are a wildflower here and I have plenty growing in my yard also.  The seed head is slightly different than the ‘Bordeaux Barlow’ columbine pictured above… opening up a bit more at the top to release the tiny 1-2 mm seeds.    The seed head is about 1 – 1.5 inches in length.

Columbine Eastern Wild Red Seed Head and Seeds
Columbine Eastern Wild Red Seed Head and Seeds
Columbine Eastern Wild Red Bloom
Columbine Eastern Wild Red Bloom

That’s all I’ve collected so far.  Soon, I will be grabbing up some Foxglove and Sweet William seed and they’ve just started developing their seed heads.

A rule that I follow when I’m collecting seeds from the garden is to leave some seeds on the plant.  Not so much with tender annuals or vegetables.  But  I do leave some seeds to drop naturally from perennials, biennials and annuals that tend to reseed.  I also like to leave some seeds for the birds.  Primrose, mullion, coneflower, rudbeckia and sunflowers are a tasty treat for our birds in the fall.

Thanks for reading!

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