Monday, January 23, 2012

New Seeds for 2012

I just got in my 2012 seed order from Prairie Moon Nursery.  I'm only trying five new plants this year, but as I noted in my last post, I have another half dozen from last year already started.  The plants that I will be trying this year are:

Agastache foeniculum, Blue Giant Hyssop, a mid-western native that is often grown as an annual or short-lived perennial in New England.  I normally would have gone with the species native to this area, A. scrophulariifolia, the Purple Giant Hyssop, but this plant can get a bit too large for a residential setting, reaching 6-7'.  The Giant Blue Hyssop usually grows to about 3', a more manageable size for a suburban landscape.

Agastache scrophulariifolia in mid-October at
Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA.  This was a small one,
others nearby were well over 6' tall.

Chamaecrista (formerly Cassia) fasiculata, Partridge Pea, is an annual that grows on poor well-drained soils.  It is often used as a temporary ground cover when establishing a meadow planting and has been recommended for use on roadsides.  As with other legumes, Partridge Pea help fix nitrogen into the soil.

Clematis virginiana, Woodbine, is a common woodland vine in the Eastern US.  I would like to try it under my Norway Maple, as a complement to the Virginia Creeper that is doing so well.  While it reseeds itself easily in the wild, it is more difficult to start indoors.

Lilium philadelphicum, Wood Lily, is a beautiful native lily that, while geographically wide spread, has seen its numbers diminished.  This is due in part to harvesting of flowers from the wild.  This may also be a tricky one to grow from seeds, but that will have to do until I find a good commercial source for the bulbs.

Solidago ulmifolia, Elm-leaved Goldenrod, is another shade-tolerant perennial.  I had such good results last year from the Blue-stemmed Goldenrod (S. caesia), that I thought I would try another woodland goldenrod for comparison.

Since I don't have any plants to show off yet, here's a photo showing each of the five seeds.

Clock-wise from upper left: Agastache foeniculum, Chamaecrista fasiculata,
Clematis virginiana, Lilium philadelphicum
, and Solidago ulmifolia.

I need to start the cold stratification for the Lily and Clematis right away!


THB Farm (Ellen S) said...

Adam - let the planting begin! I'll be interested to hear your experiences with the wood lily - I tried them from NEWFS seeds many years ago but had no luck.

For the Clematis I have no doubt that you will end up with many healthy seedlings :) You might want to sow them outdoors, they especially appreciate a bit of cold stratification, and will germinate this spring...

Curtis said...

Thanks for the comments. I'm trying the Wood Lily 3 ways: 'winter sowing' outdoors starting tomorrow, cold stratification in damp sand (min. 60 days) and 21 days in moist soilless mix at 60F followed by 45+ days in the frig. We'll see...

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

That's the one part I need to get better about. Either I forget to cold stratify, or I forget I was cold stratifying, and lose the seeds somewhere in the recesses of the fridge! I will get organized though. There's something very satisfying about starting plants, especially natives, from seed.

Curtis said...

I accidentally deleted a comment from Judyf where she wrote:
I have both heard and read that Agastache foeniculum self-seeds like mad, enough to become a pest. Just a "heads-up" so you can be prepared.

Anonymous said...

Lilium Philadelphium bulbs are available from:
Laporte Avenue Nursery, Morning Sky Greenery & High Country Gardens. Don't seem to be any Eastern US vendors which might more likely lead to eastern native variety.