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Saturday - October 30, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Seed propagation for Goldeneye Sunflower for Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have been unable to find Golden Eye seed, and am therefore thinking about harvesting seed from existing plants. My question is: At what stage of the development do I make the harvest of fully developed seed? In other words, after the flower withers, how do I know when to pick? Next question: Do I scatter the seed upon harvesting, or do I wait until spring, and, if I wait, what is the best method of storage? Thanks for your assistance

ANSWER:

Ordinarily, we would refer you to the Propagation Instructions on the plant in question. However, our database page on Viguiera dentata (Sunflower goldeneye) does not have as much information as we would like. So, we spoke to Minnette Marr, who does much of the seed harvesting for the Millennium Seed Bank, as well as our own. Her advice was:

When the stem beneath the bloom has begun to turn brown, as well as the bracts above the stem on the flower, cut the bloom off right at the top of the stem. Shake it over a clean piece of paper towel, and the seeds that are ready will drop off. If you don't get many, or any, seeds the first time, set that blossom aside and let it dry another week or two, and then repeat the operation.

Once you have the seed, here are the instructions from the database page on Goldeneye:

"Propagation

Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Propagate by seed sown in fall or early spring, tip cuttings, or root division."

We recommend planting seeds in Central Texas in the Fall, like now through the middle of December, at the latest.

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