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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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Saturday - September 13, 2014

From: Chippewa Falls, WI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Seeds and Seeding, Herbs/Forbs
Title: When to Collect Rudbeckia triloba Seed?
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

How soon after flowering may I cut Rudbeckia triloba flower heads to save seeds? Do cones need to be attached to the plant in or out of the ground to continue to mature?

ANSWER:

Rudbeckia triloba (browneyed Susan)is a beautiful native wildflower and The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has information in our Native Plant Database that will help answer your question. If the cones are nearing maturity, you can remove them from the plant. Tie a paper bag round the seed heads and hang them upside down in a warm, dry location. The cones should continue to mature and open up, releasing the seed into the paper bag.  

Here's some information on Rudbeckia triloba from the Native Plant Database...

Rudbeckia triloba propagates very easily from seed sown in fall or spring. Large plants with numerous overlapping basal leaves, all from a single woody crown, may be divided in late winter or early spring.


Seed Collection: The nutlets turn charcoal-gray at maturity, usually 3-4 weeks after the bloom period. Seeds are mature at this time, but they are easier to collect after cones lose their tight compact stucture. Store dry in sealed, refrigerated containers.

 

From the Image Gallery


Browneyed susan
Rudbeckia triloba

Browneyed susan
Rudbeckia triloba

Browneyed susan
Rudbeckia triloba

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