I haven't deadheaded my cornflowers (bachelor's buttons) because I wanted to collect the seed. However, unlike with other flowers I've seen, it's not easy for me to tell what element is the seed. I see the desicated petals and expected that the seed would be at the inner end of that but it's not. Does anyone have any pictures or descriptions of what I should be collecting?
I guess I'm going to answer my own question here. I tried once again to make a close inspection of a spent cornflower. After carefully tipping off all the dessicated petals, I saw again the very close cone formation that looked as if the seeds had somehow jumped off. It turns out that the seeds are in that cone. Unlike many other flowers I'm used to, the seeds do not disperse easily. They stay tight in that cone unless you really crush it. So I have started harvesting them tonight and will crush them. I expect some are fully developed seeds and some might be immature. The cornflowers, despite my watering them, seem to have given up the ghost at some point.
I was just checking out my cornflowers this evening. I saw the same little cone or pod forming that you found, but although it had turned brown and dry on the outside, I think the seeds inside were not yet mature (pale and soft).
When the seeds are ripe the pod opens up and a;most lays flat out. If you are not quick, the birds will pick them out before you get to them.
The seeds look like a fat piece of rice but sort of shiny and beige with a tiny tassel of short bristles at the top.
Hope I am not too late. LOL Just found this thread.
I found that when it is ready it will just pop off the stem. I brought out my clippers to clip but it just about jumped off the stem at me. THANKS for this info. My first time collecting sees. To late for the blue ones but got the pink ones.