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

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

Getting rid of rain lilies in Aledo, TX
August 24, 2008 - How do I get rain lilies to stop growing in my yard?
view the full question and answer

Grafting to a cherry laurel for edible fruit in Austin
July 01, 2010 - I was the one who asked earlier about grafting to a Cherry Laurel. I will happily graft a local plum on it, say a Mexican Plum or American Plum or one of the naturalized peaches (a friend has an India...
view the full question and answer

Taking a cutting from Niagara grape in Warfordsburg PA
April 27, 2010 - How do I take a cutting from a Niagara grape plant, and then re-plant that cutting?
view the full question and answer

Eupatorium serotinum (late boneset) for garden setting, care and propagation
October 27, 2007 - What are the prospects for Eupatorium serotinum in a garden setting? What requirements does the plant have? How large does it grow, etc.
view the full question and answer

Spreading bluebonnets in pasture from Ledbetter TX
April 29, 2013 - I've found a small patch of bluebonnets in my back pasture in Ledbetter, tx. What is the best method of encouraging their spread across the pasture? I've heard that one can pull up the plants and ...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center