Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

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

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Smarty Plants on seed balls
September 27, 2005 - Do you have the recipe for Wildflower Seed Balls? It's where you mix dry wildflower seeds, compost, red clay, and water to form a seed ball and then you throw it. I think the ratio is 1 part seed, ...
view the full question and answer

Source for Abutilon fruticosum (Indian mallow) seeds
September 24, 2011 - Do you know anyone who has Abutilon Fruticosum (Indian Mallow) seeds for sale? I would love to grow the Indian Mallow, but can't locate a source. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Use of hand-held seed spreader from Robstown TX
March 20, 2014 - I am planting native turf grass and prairie grasses as part of a backyard restoration on my 1.6 acre home site. My problem is good seed dispersal for the chaffey grass seeds. Have you have any luck...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for burned acreage in Bastrop, Texas
October 31, 2011 - The fire took 2/3 of the trees on my half acre in Bastrop County. It was mostly wild. What do I plant for ground cover? Do I plant native grass seed in fall? I want to keep it native as possible. ...
view the full question and answer

Too late to begin planting in May in Austin?
April 30, 2008 - Is it too late to begin planting in May? I live in Austin Texas and have finally completed my plans for a native Texas landscaping (plants and grass) of my front yard. I'd like to get the landscapi...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.