I collected some more seeds today, from edible, medicinal and beautiful perennials in Park Frankendael. The only wild Angelica that I know of there set and spread its seed in the water some time ago but this beauti in the maintained herb garden is just ripe. I harvested just a tiny proportion of the seeds on the plant and will use them for the River of Herbs project. Angelica archangelica is such a gorgeous plant to look at and has so many uses for humans and wildlife. I hope some other people will enjoy growing it in the city.
If you would like to collect some seeds from plants growing in the city or anywhere else, do remember to:
1. Leave most of the seed on the plant for birds and small mammals to eat and use.
2. Leave the seed heads and stems on the plants, they often make excellent look out posts for birds in winter, create beautiful frosted and dew covered structures until the spring and some become hollowed out homes for all manner of bug life. If you must chop off the seed making structures, to access the seeds, it probably indicates that the seed is not yet ripe anyway.
3. Take only from plentiful perennial plants, which are generally able to proliferate from their root stock and seed. If you take from annuals or biennials the forget to sew the seed, or they fail, then the plants you harvested from may have lost all chance to reproduce.
4. Only harvest seed when ripe and allow them to dry off extra well at home before packaging in small labelled envelopes or similar for future use.
5. Sew your seed as soon as possible. Think about the plants natural cycle, when the plant sets seed the seed usually finds its way to the soil and when ready will germinate. Try to mimick this if possible.
My attempt at Skullcap (Sculleraria sp.) seed collection was disappointing. I had missed the boat almost completely on two accounts, firstly someone had cut off heaps of flower stems from the large plant shown here and secondly when I examined more skullcap plants they had already set seed. I managed to collect about six seeds. Next year I must look for them earlier.
I then turned my attention to the tall wild flower meadow (shown above). Too early for seed collection here but right on time to see Goldenrod in full glory,
And Tansy (here’s a photo illustrating why Tanacetum vulgare is known as Buttons in some regions),