Who would look dangerously up at planets that might look safely down at plants?
Monday, 13 May 2013
Ripe seed of Eranthis hyemalis - in this case 'Zitronenfalter'
Each year there seems to be one day when the seed of Winter Aconites ripens, the follicles open, and one has to get out with bags or envelopes to gather it before it sheds. Yesterday was that day here and despite the poor weather at flowering time a reasonable quantity of seed had been set on some cultivars. Today I've sown the seed, in a gritty loam-based compost, topped with a good layer of grit, which I'll keep in an out-of-the-way corner of the garden until germination occurs next spring. The urgency is because the seed rapidly loses its viability if it becomes dried out, and sowing from pod to pot guarantees a good crop of seedlings next year. In the first year all one gets is a pair of cotyledons, which make a tiny tuber; in the second season a small peltate leaf with the characteristically lobed margin is produced, and from then it will be another couple of seasons before flowering size is reached. So one needs to get going with them, and not miss the chance for another year.
Pots sown today with seed from different Eranthis cultivars
A personal view of the world of horticulture and plants by a gardening botanist and author, living in Settrington, North Yorkshire, and working as Director of the Yorkshire Arboretum, a partnership between the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Castle Howard.
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