Sunday, September 07, 2014


It's the time of year to collect seeds for next year's planting. Two of the seeds we are collecting are for lavatera "silver cup" and canterbury bells.

canterbury bell seeds
lavatera seeds
The difference in the seeds is interesting. The canterbury bell seeds are extremely tiny and look round until you get them under a macro lens and see that they are oblong.

By contrast, the lavatera seeds have shell-like sculpting and are maybe a hundred times bigger than the canterbury bell seed. Why? Who knows why a plant that grows maybe half again as tall as the other would have a seed many times bigger. It's a wonder of God's creation. Figuring out the seed configuration was perhaps just one small detail of why He called it work--very good work.

canterbury bell pods
Canterbury bells usually reseed just fine. Hundreds of these little seeds come out of the dried, brown seed cups on the top. But, we put down a good layer of barkdust this year to cut back on the weeds. And barkdust is not great for either weeds or reseeding. So, we are gathering the seeds to hand start the plants next year.

lavatera seed pods--green (still maturing) and black (matured)
The lavatera is supposed to reseed and puts out a good quantity of seed as each flower leaves a seed pod (they are green and turn to black when dried--both can be seen in the photo) with 15 or so seeds in each one. But, they rarely seem to survive the winter, and now they too are surrounded by barkdust. So, for sure they won't reseed for next year.

We're having fun planning for next year's planting and the macro lens has given a little extra interest in the seeds themselves.


MAX Redline said...

Pretty, though I assume inedible. Do birds like them?

T. D. said...

I haven't noticed birds taking any interest in them (though the canterbury bell seeds seem too small to be worth any bird's effort).

MAX Redline said...

Nigerian thistle seeds are about the same size, and finches love them. Just thought I'd ask.

T. D. said...

So, if they're tasty enough, small isn't a problem. That makes sense.

MAX Redline said...

Backyard Bird shops sell Nigerian thistle seed, as well as a kind of sock feeder that you can pour the stuff into. It minimizes waste and thwarts things like starlings and English sparrows. Native little guys can cling to it with no problem for a snack. Warblers like it too.

T. D. said...

Max, you're educating me on Nigerian thistle seed. I had no idea. :-)