En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - May 14, 2008

From: Canyon Lake, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Seed collection from rain lilies
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello, I have some rain lilies growing in our yard. I've collected some seed heads, but am not sure what steps to take now. They were all off of broken stems (the dogs are not as cautious as I am), but range in color from green to dark purple. How do I know if they are developed enough? Do I need to clean them?

ANSWER:

Cooperia pedunculata (Hill Country rain lily) and Cooperia drummondii (evening rainlily) are very special flowers that pop up and surprise you with their beauty right after a rain. It is possible to grow them from seeds, but the seeds you collect need to be mature. The green ones you have are probably not going to be viable. The ones that will be viable are the ones that are dark and nearly dry. In fact, your best bet is to let the seed pods become very dry on the plant before you collect them. You will see under "Propagation" on the Hill Country rain lily page that they don't store very well so they should be planted soon after you collect them. Remove them from the seed cases and spread in a single layer on paper towels or newspaper to dry. You can store them in a paper bag in the refrigerator until ready to plant them. Also, they will reseed themselves if you let the seed pods dry completely on the plant and naturally disperse.

 For general directions on seed collection, please see our "How to Article" Seed Collecting and Storage.

 


Cooperia pedunculata

Cooperia pedunculata

Cooperia drummondii

Cooperia drummondii

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Plants that will grow under a magnolia tree.
April 14, 2010 - We live in California near San Diego and have a Magnolia Tree. We have tried to plant many types of flowers around the tree only to have them die. Is there a particular type of plant that we should ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting a redbud in August from St. Louis MO
August 09, 2011 - I have a 4' tall redbud that needs to be transplanted before the end of August because of construction on our house. Can this be done without killing the tree? Can I take a cutting from the tree and ...
view the full question and answer

Pollination by dwarf yaupons of normal size selections in Gadsden AL
May 31, 2009 - Can dwarf varieties of male yaupons be used to pollinate non dwarf female yaupons? Specific males in question are Shillings (Stokes Dwarf) yaupon and Bordeaux Condeaux.
view the full question and answer

Blossoms but no fruit for gooseberries in Enoch UT
January 16, 2010 - My gooseberries always get loads of blossoms, but I never get fruit. I think they need more sun, and thus, want to transplant them to a sunnier location. What (and when) is the best way to do this?
view the full question and answer

Propagation of redbuds from shoots in St. Louis MO
July 17, 2009 - I have a beautiful, healthy old redbud tree that I love. Every year, I find baby redbud trees rooted all over my yard, Since they are deep, I can't seem to dig them out so I simply cut them down to...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center