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Seed ripening times

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I like lists...

Right when the hot sticky days of summer start, and I feel less and less like engaging in the more strenuous gardening activities, collecting seed becomes a favored task. I like gathering seed of as many varieties as possible, to have a good selection both for my own winter seed-starting activities and for trading with fellow seedaholics. Of course, by early summer I've already missed some of the plants that set seed before that time - and with the sheer number of different plants in our garden, many plants get overlooked every year.

That's where this project started - my own desire to have a schedule that shows when seeds ripen for the plants in my garden. For me to print out and carry around with me on those lazy hot days, armed with a supply of little jars and pruning shears. Since gardening is by now an activity I share with my online visitors, I'm putting the information in each of my plant portraits; on this page, you get them in chronological order. I started this a few years ago, and have been updated my records as I collect seed each year. Which means this page will get just a bit more useful every year...

The exact timing of each variety's ripening of course depends on climate and gardening conditions - but hopefully the relative sequence of ripening is more or less the same, even if Southern gardeners will to adjust the dates forward and cold-climate gardeners will have to wait a bit longer.

early May

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)

late May

Antennaria plantaginifolia (pussytoes; lady's tobacco)
Doronicum hungaricum
Erigeron compositus 'Red Desert' (cutleaf daisy; fernleaf fleabane)
Townsendia rothrockii

early June

Acer palmatum (Japanese maple)
Anemone cruciata (windflower)
Draba aizoides (whitlow-grass)
Draba norvegica (rock whitlow-grass)
Isopyrum biternatum (false rue anemone)
Pulsatilla vulgaris (pasque flower)

mid-June

Anemone sylvestris (snowdrop anemone)
Aquilegia flabellata (fan columbine)
Aquilegia kareliniana (Afghan columbine)
Aquilegia shockleyi (desert columbine)
Cerastium alpinum ssp. lanatum (alpine mouse ears)
Corylopsis sinensis var. calvescens (Chinese winterhazel)
Dracocephalum nutans (nodding dragonhead)
Gentiana occidentalis
Geranium bohemicum
Potentilla megalantha (strawberry cinquefoil)
Potentilla porphyrantha
Salvia lyrata (lyre-leaf sage)
Silene dioica (catchfly)
Sisyrinchium montanum (mountain blue-eyed grass)
Tragopogon porrifolius (purple salsify)

late June

Anemone baldensis (Mt. Baldo windrose)
Anemone multifida (windflower)
Anemone palmata (yellow anemone)
Anthyllis vulneraria var. coccinea (kidney vetch; woundwort)
Aquilegia alpina (blue alpine columbine)
Aquilegia bertolonii (Bertoloni's columbine)
Aquilegia canadensis (wild red columbine)
Arenaria grandiflora (large-flowered sandwort)
Centranthus ruber (Jupiter's beard)
Dianthus species (pink)
Erodium manescavii (heronsbill)
Galega orientalis (oriental goat's rue)
Geranium macrorrhizum (bigroot cranesbill)
Geranium pyrenaicum (hedgerow cranesbill)
Helleborus niger (Christmas rose)
Helleborus x hybridus (lenten rose)
Lewisia cotyledon (bitter-root)
Papaver atlanticum 'Semiplenum' (Atlas poppy)
Saponaria pamphylica
Sedum ternatum (woodland stonecrop; wild stonecrop)
Sisyrinchium idahoense (blue-eyed grass)
Thermopsis lanceolata (golden pea, golden banner)
Tragopogon dubius (yellow goatsbeard; yellow salsify)
Viola jooi

extended period, starting late June

Geranium x oxonianum 'Claridge Druce' (cranesbill)
Viola labradorica (Labrador violet)

early July

Aethionema grandiflorum (stonecress)
Aquilegia ecalcarata (spurless columbine)
Asperula orientalis (blue woodruff)
Bupleurum griffithii 'Decor' (thorough-wax)
Clarkia pulchella
Cotula hispida
Dianthus turkestanicus
Geranium platyanthum (cranesbill)
Geranium pratense (meadow cranesbill)
Globularia meridionalis (globe daisy)
Helleborus lividus subsp. corsicus (Corsican hellebore)
Lesquerella alpina (alpine bladderpod)
Lupinus hybrids (lupine)
Luzula nivea (snowy wood rush)
Melica altissima 'Atropurpurea' (Siberian melic grass)
Papaver somniferum (bread poppy; opium poppy)
Phacelia tanacetifolia (fiddleneck)
Polemonium caeruleum subsp. villosum 'Blue master' (Jacob's ladder)
Polemonium pauciflorum
Scutellaria altissima (tall skullcap)
Sedum kamtschaticum (Kamtschat sedum)
Sidalcea malviflora 'Party Girl' (prairie mallow)
Sisyrinchium angustifolium (narrow-leaf blue-eyed grass)
Tanacetum coccineum (painted daisy)
Thalictrum aquilegiifolium (meadow rue)

extended period, starting early July

Digitalis thapsi (pink foxglove)
Geranium psilostemon (cranesbill)
Linaria reticulata 'Flamenco' (toadflax)

mid-July

Allium cristophii (star of Persia)
Allium vineale 'Hair'
Anemone cylindrica (thimbleweed)
Aubrieta deltoidea (purple rock cress)
Baptisia australis (false indigo)
Carex muskingumensis 'Wachtposten' (palm sedge)
Consolida ajacis (rocket larkspur)
Delphinium delavayi
Delphinium maackianum
Dianthus giganteus
Levisticum officinale (lovage)
Linaria dalmatica (broadleaf toadflax)
Linum lewisii (blue flax)
Penstemon venustus (shrubby penstemon)
Phyteuma scheuchzeri (rampion)
Salvia argentea (silver sage)
Salvia dumetorum (Siberian sage)
Salvia pratensis Haematodes (meadow sage)
Salvia verticillata subsp. verticillata (hardy ornamental sage)
Scutellaria alpina (alpine skullcap)
Scutellaria pontica (skullcap)
Scutellaria resinosa (sticky skullcap; prairie skullcap)
Scutellaria serrata (skullcap)
Silene armeria (sweet william catchfly; none-so-pretty)
Silene chalcedonica (Maltese cross)
Tellima grandiflora (fringe cups)
Thelesperma burridgeanum

extended period, starting mid-July

Calendula officinalis (pot marigold)

late July

Acaena myriophylla (cadillo)
Achillea 'Schwellenberg' (yarrow)
Allium strictum (stiff onion)
Cephalaria gigantea (golden scalehead)
Dracocephalum grandiflorum (dragonhead)
Epilobium angustifolium (willow orchid)
Impatiens glandulifera (policeman's helmet; Himalayan balsam)
Lathyrus clymenum (Spanish vetchling)
Lavatera cachemiriana (lavatera)
Lunaria annua (honesty; moneyplant)
Nigella damascena (love in a mist)
Orlaya grandiflora (minoan lace)
Penstemon hirsutus (hairy penstemon)
Penstemon smallii (Small's penstemon)
Phemeranthus sediformis
Salvia jurisicii
Scabiosa japonica var. alpina (pincushion flower)
Silene banksia (orange robin)
Sisymbrium luteum
Trollius chinensis 'Golden Queen' (globeflower)
Ursinia anethoides

extended period, starting late July

Lathyrus latifolius (perennial sweet pea)
Talinum calycinum (large fameflower)

early August

Achillea filipendulina 'Cloth of Gold' (fern-leaf yarrow)
Agrostemma githago (corn cockle)
Alchemilla bulgarica (lady's mantle)
Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)
Baptisia alba var. alba (white false indigo)
Beta vulgaris Cicla Group 'Bright Lights' (swiss chard)
Cosmos sulphureus (yellow cosmos)
Dracocephalum ruyschiana (dragonhead)
Eryngium agavifolium (agave-leaved sea holly)
Lathyrus tingitanus (Tangier pea)
Leibnitzia anandria (Leibnitz daisy)
Limonium minutum
Lysimachia atropurpurea (burgundy gooseneck loosestrife)
Myrrhis odorata (sweet cicely)
Penstemon strictus (Rocky Mountain penstemon)
Phlomis tuberosa (Jerusalem sage)
Raffenaldia primuloides
Scabiosa stellata (starflower pincushions)
Stachys minor (little betony)
Stachys sylvatica (hedge woundwort)
Tommasinia verticillaris (hog's fennel; milk parsley)

mid-August

Astrantia major (masterwort)
Callirhoe bushii (Bush's poppy mallow)
Campanula persicifolia (peach-leaf bellflower)
Dianthus knappii
Eryngium variifolium (Moroccan sea holly)
Helichrysum bracteatum (strawflower)
Juncus ensifolius (star-head rush; sword-leaf rush)
Legousia speculum-veneris (Venus' looking glass)
Leonotis nepetifolia (annual lion's tail)
Nigella hispanica 'African Bride' (Spanish love-in-a-mist)
Primula veris 'Sunset shades' and 'Red Strain' (English cowslip)
Tanacetum parthenium 'Aureum' (golden feverfew)
Telekia speciosa (ox-eye daisy)
Thalictrum lucidum (shining meadow rue)

extended period, starting mid-August

Dracocephalum moldavica (Moldavian dragonhead)

late August

Allium aflatunense (Persian onion)
Asclepias curassavica (tropical milkweed; bloodflower)
Baptisia alba (white false indigo)
Callirhoe involucrata (poppy mallow; winecups)
Campanula primulifolia (Spanish bellflower)
Digitalis grandiflora (yellow foxglove)
Elymus hystrix (bottlebrush grass)
Kolkwitzia amabilis 'Pink Cloud' (beautybush)
Lychnis coronaria (rose campion)
Lysimachia minoricensis
Melampodium paludosum 'Million Gold' (gold medallion flower; African zinnia)
Penstemon triflorus (scarlet penstemon; Heller's beardtongue)
Phlox divaricata (wild blue phlox)
Sida elliottii (Elliott's fanpetals)
Silphium perfoliatum (cup plant)
Verbascum densiflorum (woolly mullein)

early September

Agastache mearnsii (San Luis Mountain giant hyssop)
Cardiospermum halicacabum (balloon vine, love in a puff)
Eryngium bourgatii (Pyrenees sea holly)
Eryngium yuccifolium (rattlesnake master)
Geranium wlassovianum (Wlassov's cranesbill)
Penstemon x mexicali 'Red Rocks' (beardtongue)
Senna marilandica (American senna)

extended period, starting early September

Mirabilis jalapa (four o'clocks)

mid-September

Desmodium canadense (showy tick trefoil)
Dianthus amurensis 'Siberian Blues' (Amur pink)
Dipsacus fullonum (common teasel; Fuller's teasel)
Geum ponticum (avens)
Hibiscus moscheutos (hardy hibiscus; swamp rose-mallow)
Lychnis x arkwrightii 'Vesuvius' (Arkwright's campion)
Prunella laciniata (cutleaf self-heal)
Thalictrum dasycarpum (purple meadow rue)

extended period, starting mid-September

Clematis integrifolia

late September

Allium kermesinum (crimson leek; kamnik leek)
Allium sphaerocephalon (drumstick allium)
Amsonia tabernaemontana (blue stars)
Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly weed)
Astilboides tabularis
Campanula latifolia subsp. latifolia (bellflower)
Carex grayi (Gray's sedge)
Ceratotheca triloba (African foxglove)
Coix lacryma-jobi (Job's tears)
Dahlia 'Jazz' and 'Bishop of Llandaff'
Dalea purpurea (purple prairie clover)
Digitalis lutea (straw foxglove)
Eryngium creticum (Crete eryngo; field eryngo)
Gentiana dahurica (gentian)
Gentiana septemfida (crested gentian)
Gillenia trifoliata (bowman's root, indian physic)
Goniolimon incanum 'Sea Spray' (lavender statice)
Hemerocallis middendorffii (Amur daylily)
Iris domestica (blackberry lily)
Iris sibirica (Siberian iris)
Lavandula species (lavender)
Peltoboykinia watanabei
Penstemon cobaea (showy beard-tongue)
Platycodon grandiflorus (balloonflower)
Polemonium foliosissimum flavum (towering Jacob's ladder)
Ratibida columnifera (prairie coneflower; Mexican hat)
Ratibida columnifera f. pulcherrima (showy grey-head prairie coneflower)
Sanguisorba hakusanensis (Korean burnet)
Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap)
Scutellaria incana (downy skullcap)
Sedum aizoon (stonecrop)
Stachys densiflora 'Hummelo' (alpine betony)
Teucrium hyrcanicum (Caucasian germander)
Tithonia rotundifolia (Mexican sunflower)
Veronicastrum virginicum (culver's root)

extended period, starting late September

Dicranostigma leptopodum (yellow poppy)

early October

Allium cernuum (nodding onion)
Allium humile
Allium senescens (broadleaf chives)
Allium tuberosum (garlic chives)
Amsonia illustris (Ozark blue star; shining blue star)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack in the pulpit)
Chasmanthium latifolium (sea oats)
Clematis serratifolia
Cryptotaenia japonica 'Atropurpurea' (Japanese parsley)
Desmanthus illinoensis (bundleflower; prairie mimosa)
Dianthus japonicus
Eupatorium maculatum 'Purple bush' (spotted Joe-Pye weed)
Fibigia clypeata (Roman shields)
Gentiana tibetica (Tibetan gentian)
Hypericum androsaemum 'Albury Purple' (purple St John's wort)
Hypericum frondosum 'Sunburst' (golden St John's wort)
Ipomoea hederacea (ivy-leaf morning glory)
Ipomoea sloteri (cardinal climber)
Isodon excisus
Liatris ligulistylis (meadow blazing star)
Liatris spicata (blazing star; gayfeather)
Mimulus alatus (monkeyflower)
Nepeta subsessilis 'Sweet Dreams' (catmint)
Pennisetum orientale 'Karley Rose' (fountain grass)
Perilla frutescens (shiso, beafsteak mint)
Physocarpus opulifolius (ninebark)
Polygonatum biflorum (Solomon's seal)
Rudbeckia hirta (gloriosa daisy; black-eyed susan)
Rudbeckia maxima (giant coneflower)
Salvia glutinosa (Jupiter's distaff)
Sporobolus heterolepis (prairie dropseed)
Thalia dealbata (hardy water canna)
Thymophylla tenuiloba (Dahlberg daisy)
Tinantia erecta (widow's tears)
Trichostema dichotomum (blue curls)
Veronica longifolia 'Blauriesin' (long-leaf speedwell)
Xanthisma texanum (sleepy daisy)

mid-October

Amaranthus tricolor (elephant head amaranth)
Chaenomeles 'Toyo Nishiki' (flowering quince)
Codonopsis lanceolata (bonnet bellflower)
Euphorbia marginata 'Summer Icicle' (snow on the mountain)
Geranium wallichianum 'Buxtons Variety' (cranesbill)
Hibiscus coccineus (scarlet rose mallow)
Ipomoea hederifolia (ivy-leaf morning glory)
Proboscidea louisianica (ram's horn, unicorn plant, devil's claw)
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (slender mountain mint)
Pycnanthemum virginianum (Virginia mountain mint)
Rudbeckia triloba (brown-eyed susan)
Salvia greggii 'Furman's Red' (autumn sage)
Salvia roemeriana (cedar sage)
Solanum virginianum (kantakari; Surrattense nightshade)
Sorghastrum nutans (Indian grass)
Styrax japonicus (Japanese snowbell)
Syneilesis palmata (palmate umbrella plant)
Talinum paniculatum (jewels of Opar)
Thalictrum delavayi (Yunnan meadow rue)
Thalictrum rochebrunianum (lavender mist meadow rue)
Tripora divaricata (bluebeard)
Verbesina alternifolia (wingstem)
Vernonia glauca (upland ironweed)
Vitex negundo (chastetree)

late October

Agastache scrophulariifolia (purple giant hyssop)
Cornus amomum (silky dogwood)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Echinacea pallida (pale purple coneflower)
Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower)
Echinacea tennesseensis (Tennessee coneflower)
Eryngium leavenworthii (Leavenworth eryngo)
Euphorbia corollata (flowering spurge; poison spurge; prairie baby's breath)
Heliopsis helianthoides (false sunflower)
Heuchera villosa 'Autumn Bride' (hairy alum root)
Hyssopus officinalis (hyssop)
Indigofera heterantha (indigo shrub)
Kitaibelia vitifolia
Knautia macedonica (burgundy pincushion)
Koelreuteria paniculata (golden rain tree)
Lespedeza thunbergii (bush clover)
Penstemon canescens (gray beard-tongue)
Solanum pyracanthon (porcupine tomato)
Tricyrtis macropoda (pagoda toad lily)
Tropaeolum majus (nasturtium)
Viola sororia f. priceana (confederate violet)

early November

Amsonia hubrichtii (narrow-leaf blue star)
Barnardia japonica (squill)
Calycanthus chinensis (Chinese sweetshrub)
Capsicum annuum (ornamental peppers)
Caryopteris x clandonensis (bluebeard, blue mist spirea)
Elephantopus carolinianus (elephant's foot)
Erigeron karvinskianus (Mexican daisy)
Lagerstroemia indica 'Rubra' (crape myrtle)
Persicaria virginiana 'Painter's palette' (painter's palette)
Pycnanthemum incanum (hoary mountain mint; white horse-mint)
Ruellia humilis (hairy wild petunia)
Selinum wallichianum
Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod)
Symphyotrichum sp.
Verbena bonariensis (purple-top vervain)
Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed)

mid-November

Calamagrostis brachytricha (Korean feather grass)
Coreopsis auriculata 'Zamphir' (ear-leaved tickseed)
Daphne retusa
Lilium formosanum (formosa lily)
Scutellaria salviifolia (skullcap)

late November

Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii (Bodinier's beautyberry)
Indigofera amblyantha (pinkflower indigo)

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Last modified: December 11, 2014
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