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Saving Seeds: Harvesting baptisia seeds

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Pfg
(Pam) Warren, CT
(Zone 5b)

August 30, 2011
4:08 PM

Post #8785603

I'm trying to collect seeds from a huge old baptisia. Many pods are black and dry, some halfway there and some green. Of the dark ones, I'm finding some empty, either marauded (holes -- birds?) or ripened and gone. In the rest, the seeds range from dark brown to beige to pale, usually all the same color in each pod. In a few there's white fuzz.

I think the fuzz must be mold, because we've just had record rains. But are the rest viable? Are the pale ones ok, just not dry?

I'm sending them in a trade, want to make sure they're good.

Thanks!

Pam

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

October 19, 2011
12:58 PM

Post #8855812

Usually, pale seeds aren't ripe. My guess is that the only way is to gather pods just before they mold, and just beofe they open. Then expect some to be ripe and others not. Keep the darkest ones.

(I haven't learned a good method yet, or maybe I need to train my eye for each variety I want to save.)

You might have needed to tie a few seed pods into panty-hose toes, organza bags or small paper bags.

If seeds fall out too soon after ripening, you might need to catch them in bags. Or, if you have a few dry days in a row, spread newsdpapaers, paper plates or plastic film under the plants, and catch some that way.

I also have problems with losing seeds to rain and mold, or not checking often enough: "not ripe yet" and then "on the ground". I've thought about rigging a clear plastic "umbrella" over some plants to prtoect them from the rain ... and watching it fly away in the wind like Mary Poppins.

I don't know Baptisia, but DG Plant Files says:

>> Seed Collecting:
>> Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Corey

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