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

Friday - October 28, 2005

From: Winigan, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Storing seed from Pickerel weed
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Michael Eason

QUESTION:

What's the best method to store seed from Pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata) and Arrowhead (Sagattaria latifolia)? Should it be kept wet?

ANSWER:

Our seed expert at the Wildflower Center who works with the Millennium Seed Bank Project says:

"Both are orthodox seeds, which means they can be frozen for long term storage. However, they must be dried prior to freezing (if there is too much water in the seed when they are frozen the freezing process will kill the seed). Bet bet (cheapest) - place a bed of rice in a glass jar, then place the seeds in a paper bag/envelope on top of the bed of rice. The rice will absorb the extra water in the air space, keeping the seeds moisture content a bit lower."

If you want to store them for only a brief time, then they should be spread out to dry on absorbent paper with adequate air circulation above and below them (e.g., put them on paper towels or newspaper on a some sort of rack). When dry, store them in paper (not plastic) bags until ready to plant them.
 

More Propagation Questions

Non-blooming or fruiting Oregon grape holly in Elmhurst IL
May 14, 2010 - I have an Oregon grape holly bush that has never bloomed and has never had fruit. I have had the bush for at least 6 years, it is approximately 5 ft tall. Have had no problems, just no flowers/fruit....
view the full question and answer

Germination and propagation of bluebonnets
April 25, 2005 - I live in Austin. Last fall I spread a load of dirt on my lawn to provide soil contact for the 2 pounds of bluebonnet seeds I subsequently spread (this was in early November). The germination rate a...
view the full question and answer

How and when to harvest bluebonnets.
April 30, 2010 - A previous answer mentioned harvesting bluebonnet seeds by pulling up the whole plant when the seed pods turn brown. Two clarifications - when do the seed pods turn brown as these plants are hard to ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting or seeding Indian paintbrush in Bend OR
July 21, 2009 - I would like to know whether I can transplant native Indian paintbrush plants into my landscaping, or do I need to try and grow them from seed?
view the full question and answer

Allelopathc qualities in sunflowers
June 19, 2007 - I have a sunflower patch in the corner of my backyard (Maximilians, common sunflower, and silverleaf sunflower)and would like to use the spent stalks (sans the seedheads) as mulch in the fall. Howeve...
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