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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.

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

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Friday - September 07, 2007

From: Prairie City, OR
Region: Northwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Harvest dates-eastern Oregon
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am looking for a source to provide me with harvest dates for seed of shrubs, grasses and wild flowers native to eastern Oregon.

ANSWER:

First of all, you need to realize that you are going to find general dates, not exact dates since weather conditions affect bloom time and seed maturation. Our seed collectors at the Wildflower Center who are working with the Millennium Seed Bank Project will tell you that they often have to monitor plants for several weeks to collect the seeds at the optimum time. If you know the particular species you want to collect, you can search our Native Plant Database and look it up. For most species the bloom time will be listed and for many (e.g., Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)) there is information about when the seeds mature.

Another approach is to do an "Advanced Search" on the USDA PLANTS Database. Under "Part A: PLANTS Core Data. 1. Distribution" you can pick all of Oregon or you can narrow it to only one county. You also can choose multiple counties to search by clicking on each county while holding down the "Ctrl" key on a PC (or the "Apple" key on a Mac). You can make appropriate choices in the "Part A: PLANTS Core Data. 2. Taxonomy" section. Then in "Part B: Characteristics Data. 3. Reproduction" you will find two entries to select, "Fruit/Seed Period Begin" and "Fruit/Seed Period End". When your report is displayed you will find that not all plants have information for these two entries, but many do.

 

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