Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lobelia siphilitica: seeds

[Photo: Lobelia siphilitica seeds.]Lobelia siphilitica, known in English as great blue lobelia and blue cardinal flower, and in French as lobélie syphilitique, is a perennial native to eastern and central Canada and the United States.

This is my first attempt at growing blue lobelia. I bought these seeds from the North American Native Plant Society at Seedy Saturday. At least, I hope they're seeds. They look and feel an awful lot like chaff to me, though since they cost only 50 cents I can't complain much. Maybe this is one of those plants with dust-like seeds? I've got them cold-moist stratifying in the fridge right now.

1 comment:

  1. Lobelia siphilitica seeds are like dust. I grow it, and traded away about 100,000 seeds last yr. They don't need stratification, but they do need light & constant moisture to germinate. They can wash away easily.

    The seedlings grow slowly at first (2-3 months) and resemble seedlings of viola, torenia, annual lobelia, and/or european impatiens, but the cotyledons are tiny.

    They have seeded into EVERY ONE of my patio containers. Apparently the seeds can travel short distances on the wind. Plant them where you don't mind them spreading. Mature plants also send out young underground clones in productive years.


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