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seed collecting 2011

Posted Aug 17 2011 5:06pm
Seed collecting has proved a fascinating new craze and my box of collected seed is bulging!

Each seed is distinctly different and fascinating to look at closely.

Seed of the cowslip (primula veris) looks round and black as it is shaken from the dried seed pods, but magnified it looks more like gravel as you can see. Cowslips have simple flowers that long-tongued bumble bees especially can enjoy. We will sow the seed in drills on the allotment and then transplant the seedlings to their new home in places where the ground is more moist.

We've collected the majority of the seeds, but indulgent friends have also contributed.

Here's my list (in no sort of order) so far.....



 Common nameLatin nameHabitatNotesBluebellHyacinthoides non-scriptaWoodlandFor broadcasting in woodlandYellow scabious
GardenFor sowing in drills
AquilegaHedgerow/gardenBroadcast along hedgerowWeldReseda lutiola
Broadcast along hedgerowFoxgloveGigitalis purpureaWoodland/hedgerowBroadcast in woodland and along hedgerowRed CampionSilene dioicaWoodland/hedgerowBroadcast in woodland and along hedgerowSown in trays and planted out as plugsWhite CampionSilene albaWoodland/hedgerowFor sowing in drillsBladder CampionSilene vulgarisWoodland/hedgerowFor sowing in drillsWelsh poppiesMecenopsis cambricaGardenFor gardenWelsh poppies (orange)Mecenopsis cambricaGardenFor gardenOpium poppiesPapaver somniferumGardenFor sowing in drillsCalifornian poppiesEschscholzia californicaGarden
For sowing in drills
Camassia (white)Meadow/gardenFor sowing in drillsOx eye daisiesLeucanthemum vulgaraemeadowFor adding to meadow mixPot marigold ‘Art shades mixed’CalendulaGardenFor broadcast in garden and in orchard
PhaceliaGardenBroadcast in orchardCowslipPrimula verisMeadow/gardenFor sowing in drillsGreater knapweedCentaurea scabiosaMeadow edgeFor sowing in drills
AstrantiagardenFor sowing in drills
Stipa giganteagardenTray sownFor sowing in drillsBee orchidOphrys apiferaMeadow/hedgerowBroadcast in grass along hedgeYellow (Hay) RattleRhinanthus minorMeadow/grasslandBroadcast in grass along hedgeHoneysuckleLonicera pericyclemenumWoodlandTray sownParsnip
Vegetable garden
Field beans
Vegetable garden

As I've said before, the ecological assessment of the site disappointingly noted that there was nothing of particular interest.

Our aim is to increase the overall biodiversity by first of all increasing the range of plants in site. None of the above occur on the site at the moment. If we can raise many of them to maturity, and continue to add insect friendly plants, in years to come we should have increased the floral diversity considerably.

Left - ox-eye daisy (leucanthemum vulgarae) is a beautiful 'pioneer' species of grassland occurring early in a  meadow's life. Its simple flowers are typical of the kind that invertebrates find most useful. This year was an exceptional one for ox-eye daisies and they flowered in profusion from May to late July. This seed will be added to a meadow mix and will hopefully be broadcast in the autumn.


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