Seed Harvesting Notes

Submitted by RickR on

This is a good place to record tips, warnings, notes, times, advice, explanations, etc., on seed collection.


Ruellia humilis

Sometimes I'm not so bright, and it took me a couple years to figure out how this one works. The story of discovery would be long, but it would suffice to say that it involves mice, a cupboard and a table top.

Seeds of this species must be gathered long before the pod dries. The slightest hint of brown signals seeds inside are ripe, and those pods that are even more green than in the photo above will have ripe seeds, too. I had to really dig hard with my thumbnail to open the pod shown, but as you can seed the seeds are ready.

Seed needs to be gathered at this stage because these are ones that dehisce with explosive power. I can imagine these tiny disc shaped seeds flying out like miniscule frisbees to places unknown. Store gathered pods in a paper bag or a loosely covered bowl to allow for rapid drying and containment of subsequent explosions.


Submitted by RickR on Thu, 10/18/2012 - 16:17

Barnardia japonica (Scilla scilloides)

Those of you experience with this genus will know that these pictured are not mouse droppings. Capsules need not be brown for seeds to be ripe, but seeds stay put fairly well in opened, dry capsules. This allows one to harvest whole scapes with both closed green and open brown receptacles, for maximum harvest with minimum effort.


Barnardia numidica behaves in the same manner.