Here's what I've collected so far:
|The ripe seed heads of this Sallow Sedge fell apart into individual |
seeds when I touched them making them easy to harvest.
Sallow sedge, Carex lurida, is pretty common on my property. It forms dense clumps that mature to 2-3' tall and wide. It grows best in moist to wet soils and partial sunlight. I have small clumps of it growing in the lawn, but these can't reproduce since they are getting mowed down regularly. The leaves are long and have a deep fold along the midrib. This gives it a stiff texture.
I'll scatter the seeds along the woodland edges where the soil is moist and there are several hours of good sun each day. It is also an area where I am trying to remove the invasive wineberry bushes, Rubus phoenicolasius. The dense clumps may make it a little harder for these bushes to spread.
|The seeds of bottlebrush grass are easily stripped off from |
bottom to top. Trying to go the other direction leaves most
of the seed still attached to the stem.
|Ripe seeds are assisted in wind dispersal by the fluffy white appendages. |
Some flowers still in bloom are at the lower right in the photo.
Tall Snakeroot, Ageratina altissima, formerly Eupatorium rugosum, is very common in this area. It is particularly evident in my area along roadsides near the Potomac river. It grows well in full to partial sunlight and a range of soil moistures.
It is tolerant of soil disturbance, making it a good candidate for an edge habitat where plants are occasionally mowed down. I'll scatter these in some of the drier woodland edge areas.
The seeds are tiny, typically 150,000 per ounce. They require light for germination. This is common for disturbance adapted plant species.
|Here most of the fluffy seed of the Sweet Everlasting have |
been blown away, leaving the sepals as 'everlasting' flowers.
Sweet everlasting, Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium, is a native annual that depends on disturbance for survival. It is most common recently cleared areas in full sun and dryish soils. I have a recently cleared meadow area that will be perfect for these.
This plant is evident in a border because the fine hairs on the leaves and stems catch the sunlight and make it look like the plant is glowing. The tiny white flowers never fully open but form white clusters of buds that show well. After blooming long-lasting bracts remain giving the effect of an everlasting flower.
The seeds of this species are really tiny, coming in at 500,000 per ounce. It is hard to find the actual seed, there is so much fluff attached. These seeds are quickly wind dispersed, so I need stay on top of harvesting them.
Short's Aster, Symphyotrichum shortii, is found in the mid-Atlantic and mid-western states. This aster is the latest blooming species that I have growing. It starts in about mid-September and continues to the end of October. Besides its long and late blooming cycle, it is also tolerant of dry shade and alkaline soils. This makes it an excellent candidate for deeper into the woodland areas where it can compete with the stiltgrass for patches of light and openings in the canopy.
Each seed of Small's Aster has an attached pappus that looks like a little umbrella that catches the wind. The actual seeds are larger than the previous two species, with about 60,000 per ounce.
|In the center are some ripe seeds with their fluffy pappus. |
In the background you can see some or the lavender
flowers still in bloom.