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26.7.07

When I Collect Bells Of Ireland Seeds

When I collect Bells of Ireland Seeds
Most of my Bells of Ireland have started to go to seed so I thought I'd post a picture of when I know to collect Bells of Ireland Seeds for those growing this plant for the first time or those that may want to grow it in their garden in the future.

The most obvious sign is when the bracts fade from green to the light brown color you see in the image above. If you look inside the bract you will see that there are (usually) four seeds that resemble a pie cut into four segments- occasionally only two seeds will form. I usually keep an eye on the seeds and collect them right after they've turned brown and a gap develops between each of the segments so I know they're ripe.

Last year when I first collected seeds from my plants I got a big surprise when I encountered the spines that develop below the bell-shaped bracts. When they're completely dry they hurt pretty bad so make sure to wear gloves when handling the spent blooms. There are also spines on the edges of the "bell" that you should look out for.

Previou entry: Bells of Ireland flowers

10 comments:

  1. thanks mr. brown thumb! posts like this are great for people like me who like to google for seed collecting tips. these photos are incredibly helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. bs, thanks for the comment and I'm glad someone is finding them helpful. I decided to start these on this blog because I remember when I first started seed collecting I didn't know where the seeds were and it lead to a little bit of embarrassment that I will blog about soon.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have always wanted to try growing these. Next year I will ... I find this kind of information very helpful. Thank you! I also wanted to say thanks for your comment on my latest blog entry. I appreciated it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very interesting to see this plant after it has flowered. It encourages me to grow it. I like decorative seedheads.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Kate hope you do try them they look great...don't mention it, it was a very good post you made.

    Hi Ottawa Gardener.

    Thanks for stopping by and I hope you do give it a chance in your garden.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I found your blog out of the blue as I was googling way past my bedtime. The photos are awesome and will help me with seed saving this fall.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nuria,

    Way past my bedtime here too but I'm glad you found the post useful and enjoy the photos. Good luck with your seeds

    ReplyDelete
  8. thanks from me too. Will try this in February in Massachusetts

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous5:46 AM

    Hi, Mr BT! I never knew these flowers existed until I purchased a green arrangement for my mom in the hospital as green is her faver color. There was one sprig of this flower in the arrangement as the focal draw, Now we are looking at this sprig with delight, it looks so strangely beautiful... something of the likes of Dr Seuss! Anyway, how do I know I can collect a seed from the bell of this so I may grow them again?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi, Mr BT! I never knew these flowers existed until I purchased a green arrangement for my mom in the hospital as green is her favorite color. There was one sprig of this flower in the arrangement as the focal draw, Now we are looking at this sprig with delight, it looks so strangely beautiful... something of the likes of Dr Seuss! Anyway, how do I know I can collect a seed from the bell of this so I may grow them again? In other words, when you say that your plants were going to seed, (which I always understood that meant the plants that were males were going through their normal lifecycle function, like onions do), are there male flowers vs. female ones, and if so how do we tell them apart? From looking at many different pictures of these flowers, I see full shafts of bells, and then I see some sprigs that have about an inch or so between each row of bells along the sprig. Does this denote the sex of the plant or just a different variety? Goodness! I'm just full of questions! Thank you so much! And I do so wish I could live in Chicago.... the Pacific Garden Mission calls my name every day... love that place!

    ReplyDelete

Hi!

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