Sunday, June 22, 2014

Spring Seeds

Clockwise from the top--Grass widow (Sisyrhincium douglasii), Upland larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum), Blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia parviflora), Yellow bells (Fritillaria pudica...and some other mystery bulb seed), Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata), Western groundsel (Senecio integerrimus), and Salt-and-pepper (Lomatium gormanii).  Starting clockwise from the Salt-and-pepper, they are listed in the order their seed was collected.

Even though we are pretty far north and it can get cold here, the native flowers start blooming in late winter with Salt-and-pepper in late February.  Several of these plants have been hard to start, and I have wondered whether the standard advice I have received for planting native seeds--planting in fall--doesn't take into account that all of the plants above have their seeds planted by summer in nature.  Could the dry heat and occasional rains of summer play an important role in their germination?  I decided this year to plant everything I collected before the Summer solstice in the first week of summer.  I have chosen areas that have nothing but native grass, so I can see if this gets better results than waiting until fall.  Let's do science!

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