What plants can I safely collect seeds from

Catoosa, OK

This might be a better way to ask my question. Below is the list of hot peppers that I am growing. Some I know are safe to collect seeds from as they will produce true (var. followed by "Y"), and then there are the hybrids that I know I can not collect seeds (var. followed by "N"). But I have several of which I do not know if I can collect seeds or not (var. followed by "?")... can anyone help?

Anaheim - Y
Ancho - Y
Beaver Dam - Y
Bhut Jolokia - Y
Bhut Jolokia, Chocolate - Y
Bhut Jolokia, Yellow - Y
Black Hungarian - Y
black Pearl - ?
Bolivian Rainbow - Y
Bulgarian Carrot - Y
Cayenne, Golden ?
Cayenne, long red slim - Y
Cayenne, Purple - Y
Chinese 5 Color - Y
Espanhola - Y
Fish - Y
fresno - Y
Garden Salsa hybrid - N
Georgia Flame - Y
Guajillo - Y
habanero - Y
habanero, chocolate - Y
Habanero, Fatali - Y
Habanero, Mustard - Y
Habanero, Peach - Y
Habanero, Peruvian White - Y
Habanero, Scotch Bonnet - Y
holy mole hybrid - N
hot banana - ?
hot portugal - Y
Hungarian Paprika - Y
italico hybrid - N
jalapeno - Y
jalapeno, Biker Billy hybrid - N
jalapeno, jalastar hybrid - N
jalapeno, jaloro - ?
jalapeno, mucho nacho hybrid - N
jalapeno, purple - ?
jalapeno, senorita hybrid - N
jalapeno, Tam - Y
Kung pao (balada) hybrid - N
Lemon Drop - Y
marbles - ?
mariachi - ?
marvas (sweet Pepper) hybrid - N
Medusa - ?
NuMex Big Jim - Y
NuMex Twilight - ?
Pasilla bajio - Y
pepperoncini - Y
pequin - Y
Peter - Y
Pimiento de Padron - Y
Purple Tiger -?
Red hot Cherry - Y
Red Rocoto - Y
Santa Fe Grande - Y
Serrano - Y
Serrano Tampiqueno - Y
Tabasco - Y
Tepin - Y
thai dragon - Y
thai hot orange - Y
Vietnamese Tear Jerker - ?
zavory - ?
Zimbabwe Bird - ?

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

Have you checked the plant files?

Catoosa, OK

Hi Doug, Yes, and I'm a bit skeptical. Thing is, there are some that I know for a fact are hybrids (I don't remember which ones now, I'd have to go and look them up again) and they are listed as OP. That's leaves me a bit concerned over trusting everything in the plant files.... Unfortunately.

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

The plant files represent experiences of regular people gardening in their regular way. Rarely, is there a botanist in the group. You can trust what they say for their particular area.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I asked something similar in the tomato forum.

But first let me say: the important thing is to tell the people you give seeds to that they "were collected from" MacNamurty's Purple Passion Gooseberry Polka-Dot Surprise with left-handed ruffles, var Glorianna 126. Mention that you don't know "how stable" or "how hybrid" the parents were.

Sometimes a seed vendor will say "hybrid" because that variety was ORIGINALLY created by crossing two different varieties, but then the F1, F2, F3 etc were selected and inbred until a stable, or relatively stable, variety was produced.

The seed vendor might be propagating it through OP, but still call it "hybrid" because that impresses many people and makes it sound more valuable and expensive to produce ... and deters people like us from propagating it.

Usually, if a pkt explocotly says "F1 Hybrid", that means that the seed you planted had two rather different parents, and that the F2 generation will vary in many characteristics ... yet wouldn't you expect a given trait to be present in 50% of all F2 plants? And if you SELECT your population before they pollinate, you are in effect stabilizing that hybrid yourself.

Sometimes you will even see the same variety name used, but one packet truly is an F1 cross between two different strains, and one is a "pretty stable OP version" of that same strain. (At least for tomatoes, and that comes from Carolyn.)

Caveat emptor.

On the other hand, Plant Files seems very willing to say that things won't come true from seed ... even if most of the offspring are very close to the parent plant.

The discerning and reputable seed vendor may have gone to a lot of trouble to make his cross slightly more uniform, or have slighly bigger blooms. I might not see the difference at all! Or I might be thrilled that 75% or 50% of the seeds I saved came up virtually identical to the parents. Or I might like the range of traits I get from an F1 cross, and save those that suit my climate or preferences.

If you aren't re-selling the seed and swearing on a stack of bibles that it IS the one true "MacNamurty's Purple Passion Gooseberry Polka-Dot Surprise with left-handed ruffles, var Glorianna 126" ... by all means save the seed and plant 10.

For our purposes, if 8 of them look a lot like the parent, that's good seed.

If you want boasting rights, plant 10 F2 crosses and look at them hard.
Only trade F1 seeds if you have inspected F2.
Start trading F2 seeds after you see that F3 is "close enough".

But I think that most seed traders here will say "collected FROM Xyz" and we know how stable they are after we grow them for a few years.


Holladay, UT(Zone 5a)

Rick, your description of seeds being "MacNamurty's Purple Passion Gooseberry Polka-Dot Surprise with left-handed ruffles, var Glorianna 126" was HILARIOUS!!!!! Thanks for cracking me up!!!


Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Thnaks very jmuch, Natalie! Since I wrote that, I've been even more overwhelemed by fancy and fanciful names.

If anything, the Latin ones are easier, becuase when I look them up, I don't always get 1,200 lisitngs, or if I do, they are 1,200 listuing of almost the smae thing, instead of 1,200 different things all called "Moonflower".

Have you ever looked at daylily variety names? Or a catalog of roses? I bet they hire people away from Hallmark cards, or maybe just collect the cards and take names from them!


Holladay, UT(Zone 5a)

Being a Daylily addict, I'm quite smitten with some of the names, and have bought some Daylilies just because of the name, such as Wild Horses! Luckily the flower didn't fail to live up to it's name! I couldn't even begin to pick a favorite though because there are so many to choose from!

I totally agree that it's so much easier to look plants up by their Latin names. It really narrows the search to the specific plant you want to know about!


Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> Being a Daylily addict

Another one!

Is it true that one shouldn't bother with daylily seeds, and instead rely on bulbs (rhizomes?) & vegtative propagation?

I may be thinking of Cana Lilies, that someone said were "easy", I would just had to dig them up and bring them inside every year.

"Easy" ... but only for certain definitions of 'easy"!


Holladay, UT(Zone 5a)

Hi Rick! I hybridized some of my daylilies for the first time last year, and have lots of seedlings growing now! They are super easy to hybridize, and I had really good luck with germination. I started them inside under grow lights, but I think next year I'll plant them directly outside. We've been having a nice chat about this on the Daylily forum. You should visit that forum when you get a chance! If I can get them to grow from seed, anyone can do it, because I'm really unlucky with seeds! The good thing about Daylilies is that you can leave them outside all year long, and there are evergreens, semi-evergreen, and dormant ones, so you can get the ones that are just right for your zone.


Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> you can leave them outside all year long,

That sounds better, but i think I'll stick with my obsession with Salvia, Penstemon and Delphiniums until I get some established ... in the case of Penstemon, I've never gotten past seedling leaves. Delphs don't seem TOO hard ... except for the slugs.

Then I want to get some variety of Forget-Me-Nots in the shade ... I've learned a lot since the first two seasons of trying to grow "Survive-Me-Nots".

Then I might expand into daylilies. the photos sure are pretty! Do they bloom all summer, or only briefly?


Holladay, UT(Zone 5a)

Hi Corey! Sorry I called you Rick!

I love "Survive-Me-Nots"!! I've had a million of them! Have you ever tried Brunnera? The flower is very similar and I've had much better luck with it. I've actually had too good of luck with it because it likes to reseed, but it sure is pretty, even if it didn't flower. It does wonderful in the shade, and will do okay in the sun if it's given extra water. If it starts looking ragged or gets baked, you just cut it down to the ground and it grows right back! They are Survive-Me-Yeses!

I've got Delphs (Pacific Hybrids) that are over 7 feet tall and I have never had a problem with slugs. Probably because they are at the end of my hosta garden, and the slugs can't resist hostas. I've never tried growing them from seed but I hear it isn't too hard. Maybe I'll try that soon. I've also got a lot of Salvia and a few Penstemon, and they all go very nice with the Daylilies!

The name, Daylily, describes them exactly. Each flower only blooms for one day. However, each plant usually has many flowers that open one by one, and if you have a lot of plants that bloom at different times, your garden can be filled with blooms for several weeks. You don't know what you are missing! They have to be the easiest to care for plants that I've ever had! There are something like 65,000 registered Daylilies and counting! I think the number is actually a lot higher than that.

My husband is from Bellingham, and we used to live on Whidbey Island when he was stationed there in the Navy. We keep laughing that we've had so much rain that it's like we are right back in WA!


Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> also got a lot of Salvia and a few Penstemon, and they all go very nice with the Daylilies!


>> Sorry I called you Rick!

I answer to almost anything, but had a high school Biology class with more than 6 "Richards" and have preferred Corey since then.

>> Whidbey Island


If I ever get good at Penstemon & Delphs and 1-2 others, my next ambition is
Lisianthus 'Echo Blue' Eustoma grandiflorum
and "Lizzy Blue".

They are pretty, and, from what I read, hard work even for pros, and each variety is fussy in different ways!

Meanwhile, I plan to start one new amazingly-easy annual each year, preferably self-re-seeding, just so I feel more capable. This year was Cosmos (and Lobelia). I'm hoping some of the lobelia vaireties i started will grow more than an inch tall EVENTUALLY!

>> Brunnera?
>> shade

Hmmm! Maybe that's for next year! But I only see patented hydrids available - technically, even dividing the rootball violates the patent. I guess I would see how true the F2 offspring from seeds are, before planning to plant my whiole shady slope with them.

Do you know any OP variety?



Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

"false Forget-Me-Not"

I found this online:


>> decent woodland soil.
>> If you try growing it on clay soils, you’ll winterkill it with too much moisture.
>> Add lots of compost ...

Since I have heavy clay AND heavy winter rain, I would probably benfit from terracing that shady slope and totally replacing the soil. But I might test it in pots or small RBs there, to see how it grows.

When a perennial specialist says "the species is also sold" , does that mean non-patented, non-hybrid, wild OP strains?


Holladay, UT(Zone 5a)

Corey, I've got Brunnera growing everywhere. It's in clay in some spots, and in sand in others. It's not picky, and I haven't killed one yet, even though I've tried on a few occasions! I have a bunch in a bed against the house. When the snow falls off the roof, it lands on them. When the snow melts, they are in a puddle, and yet they thrive there!

I don't know anything about the patent on it, but I know for sure that I've seen it for sale at one nursery. That's how I found out that I had Brunnera instead of Foret-Me-Not. It does reseed rapidly, so you wouldn't be in trouble if it covered your whole slope on it's own! I'll blow some seeds your way and neither of us will be in trouble!


Thumbnail by nhuntley
Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

That really is pretty! "Brunnera " goes onto my Wish List.

It seems to me that even if something is patented, everyone is free to do as they please with the seeds.

It is only "asexual propagation" that a plant patent forbids, e.g. rooting cutings, multiplication by root division, or deliberately propagating runners.


Holladay, UT(Zone 5a)

I'm sure that the seeds must be the size of dust and invisible, because I've never been able to figure out how to collect them! Or, I've collected them and can't see them! If I'm ever successful, I'll send some your way.


Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Hi Natalie

Thank you! I would appreciate that, and whole pods would be fine. My idea for "how to know which parts are the seeds" is to put some of everything onto wet coffee filters. The one that sprouted was the seed!


This site lists perennials in categories like:

Unfortunately, they list Brunnera in the hardest category!

NOT WORTH THE BOTHER: The types listed below either will not come true from seed or are so slow it's not usually worth the wait. Peonies, for instance, can take five years or more to reach flowering size from seed. Instead, start with containers of perennials from your local Heritage Perennials Dealer, or trade for good-sized divisions with gardening friends:

Artemisia, Astilbe, Brunnera (Siberian Bugloss), ...

Is there anything I can send you back?


Holladay, UT(Zone 5a)

Hi Corey,

I've spent a lot of time on that site recently! Another member here was kind enough to send me the link! I never did check to see if they show you how to collect the seeds for Brunnera, but did notice that it was in the "not worth the bother" category. I find that really hard to believe because it spreads by seeds very easily in my yard! I may have missed the time to gather the seeds this year since they are pretty much done blooming, but I do have a couple in an area that still has a few blooms, so I'll do my best. I never saw a seed pod on the plants, but I may need a magnifying glass. The flowers are really small, so I think the seed pod would be even smaller. I don't need anything in return, but thanks for the offer! Please send me a D-mail so that I can keep track of what it was that I am going to try and send to you. Is it illegal to share this plant because of the patent on it? If all else fails, and we won't end up busting rocks in prison, I could always send you a plant or two, instead of seed or a root division.


Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I searched DG, and have only seen people who bought the plant.
Maybe I'll make an exception to my Cheapskate Policy and buy one if I see one locally.

Each commercial seed vendor that I checked from Google (claiming to sell Brunnera seed) either had no such prduct or only sold Brunnera plants.

The four vendors in Plant Files only sold plants, not seeds.
The 18 DG memebers who wnated it, mostly wanted plants.
They were all "Wants", no "Haves"!

But I would eagerly TRY to find the pods or seeds on some stems and see if I can sprout them. This year or next year!

(I have plenty of trouble growing easy things from seed, but maybe I should try more difficult ones. it would be less embarassing to say "I have trouble with Brunnera, Penstemon and Lisianthus" than to admit "this year, all my petunias died".)


Holladay, UT(Zone 5a)

Corey, that was so funny about having to admit that your petunias died!

I'm a cheapskate too, and would much rather trade someone for a plant, or go out at night on a covert operation and steal some seeds off of one, if there are a lot of seed and I know the person cuts the plants off at the ground when they are done blooming! I should just try mailing you a plant, or part of a plant, and see if it survives. Whenever I've given one away, I never get all of the roots and it comes back, so it may survive being in the mail for a couple of days. In the meantime, I'll keep trying to figure out where the invisible seeds are!


Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Petunias, delphiniums, penstemon, columbine, wild daga, irises, tiger lilies, salvia, catmint ... I'm a laugh a minute, unless you happen to be a terrified seedling in my clumsy hands. But I am learning!

So far I have killed 5 of 7 bare root plants that kind people sent me. (Four of them went into the ground when it was late and cold, and into poor soil. Slugs ate them. They drowned in the constantt rain. Space aliens abducted them.)

My plan now is to plant bare root plants into POTS and use good potting mix. Then I can also protect them from slugs, bugs and early frost.

I would love to swap something for Brunerra seeds, but don't have anything rooted to offer back, except Siberian Wallflowers and they are easy from seed. (I got them from a sed mix, and they just keep coming back). I sent a Dmail.

I agree about snatching seed without harming plants. Even taking cuttings from under-pruned plants doesn't harm them. And you can always offer some potted plants back to those neighbors.

Do you know about the "Dumpster-Diving Divas" threads? They rescued plants from home Depot dumpsters, collect seds from roadside plants and raided seeds or cuttings from you-name-it. One lady was feeling guilty about stealing from a church, until the pastor saw her. He laughed hard and long about her embarassment ... and then teased her for months.

Weezingreen's introductory thread:

Weezingreen's 'Seed Snatchin' saga Part 1:

. . . Part 2 . . . More Seed Snatchin' Part II > http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/465112/
. . . Part 3 . . . Yet More Seed Snatching III > http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/467512/
. . . Part 4 . . . Seed Snatchin' Part IV > http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/468970/
. . . Part 5 . . . Seed Snatchin' Part IV > http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/471815/


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