En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - February 23, 2014

From: Westlake Village, CA
Region: California
Topic: Propagation, Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: What do wildflower seeds look like from Westlake Village CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I collect seeds from my wild flower garden but can't always tell what part of the dried flower is the actual seed that will reproduce. Is there a resource that shows the seed part of flowers? Thanks!

ANSWER:

This is the sort of thing that many gardeners have to learn from experience. Since the experience of this Mr. Smarty Plants Team member has all been in Texas, and you are in California, we will find you some reference material that will help you more than we can.

Begin with this excellent article from Fine Gardening Magazine Starting Wildflowers from Seeds. This has three pages of information, several other links, and some videos you can watch, so it's a good place to start. Next, read this   "Plant Propagation from Seed" from Virginia Cooperative Extension.

To get information on the specific wildflowers you are growing, go to our Native Plant Database, and type in the name of the flower you are growing in the "scientific or common name" bar. This will take you to our webpage on that plant, each of which will also have Propagation Instructions and Growing Conditions which will be important to your success in growing the plantings, in terms of amount of sunshine needed, moisture and soils.We found three wildflowers native to your area that also had pictures of the seeds. Clicking on the seed pictures will give you an enlarged view.

After reading the reference material we have provided, and seeing pictures of some seeds, you should be able to figure out what the seeds look like and how to treat them.

Sample Native Southern California Wildflowers:

Achillea millefolium (Common yarrow)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed)

Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis)

 

From the Image Gallery


Common yarrow
Achillea millefolium

Common yarrow
Achillea millefolium

Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

More Propagation Questions

Propagating redbud (Cercis canadensis) seeds
October 24, 2007 - Our Red Bud tree is full of bean shaped seed pods. Can those be planted and if so how? I enjoy puttering in the yard.
view the full question and answer

Restoring and propagating rhododendrons
October 18, 2006 - I have 70+ year old native rhododendrons (16+ feet high) in my backyard. After all these years they are beginning to get dammaged by snow load and ice. Therefore I have 2 quesitons concerning these b...
view the full question and answer

Plant cloning or genetic engineering
February 23, 2012 - Can you take one genome (strain) and take a clean cut and put onto another plant another strain?
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnet rosettes in July from Austin
July 30, 2012 - Dear Mr S.P.: Please solve my bluebonnet summer mystery! I established about 1500 sq feet of bluebonnets starting four years ago by scavenging seeds here and there and just scattering in the sprin...
view the full question and answer

Will sprouts under pecan trees become producing trees in Jefferson Co., AL?
May 30, 2009 - Do pecan trees that sprout up underneath existing pecans trees ever amount to anything such as producing and bearing pecans?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center