Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Finding Wildflower Seeds to Plant

Gaillardia, blanket flower
Gaillardia, probably the hybrid
I wrote about growing locally-native wildflowers in the Denver Post last week, but provided no sources for the plants mentioned. (link)

Several people have asked about seeds, which led me to spend the afternoon searching the web.

No one seed company has all 12 plants. I am sorry about that:  I checked many things for the article, but not the pattern of seed availability.

Here is what I found on Sept. 1, 2015:  

b = blanketflower Gailardia aristida and hybrid Gaillardia grandiflora pictures
bb = broadbeard beardtongue, Penstemon angustifolius pictures
cb = chiming bells, Mertensia lanceolata pictures
Cc = Colorado columbine, called blue columbine, Aquilegia coerulea (often misspelled Aquilegia caerulea) pictures
Mhc = Mexican hat coneflower, Ratibida columnifera pictures
p = pasqueflower, Anemone patens also called Pulsatilla patens pictures
RMg = Rocky Mountain geranium, Geranium caespitosum pictures
sba = smooth blue aster Symphyotrichum laeve (previously Aster laevis) pictures
sg = scarlet globe mallow also called copper mallow and cowboy’s delight, Sphaeralcea coccinea pictures
sm = showy milkweed, Asclepias speciosa pictures 
wb = wild bergamot (aka bee balm and horsemint) Monarda fistulosa pictures
y = yarrow (common yarrow, Achillea millefolium pictures 

Seed Companies:
Name, location, website list of plants they have seeds of, using abbreviations above

Alplains , Kiowa, CO : bb, cb, Cc, p, sg

American Meadows Williston VT b, Cc, Mhc, wb, y

Easyliving Wildflowers Willow Springs, MO : b, Mhc, sm, wb, y

Eden Brothers, Asheville, NC b, Cc, Mhc, wb, y

Everwilde Farms, Sand Creek, WI b, bb, Cc, Mhc, p, sba, sg. sm, wb, y

High Counry Gardens, Denver CO highcountrygarden.comb (no species given), Cc, sm, wb, y

Nature's Seed, Lehi UT : b, Cc, Mhc, sg, y

Peaceful Valley, Grass Valley, CA b, Mhc, wb, y

Plants of the Southwest, Santa Fe, NM : b, bb. Cc, Mhc, p, RMg, sg, sm,  y

Prairie Moon Nursery, Winona MN Mhc, p, sba, sg, sm, wb, y

Seedland Wellborn, FL b, bb. Cc, Mhc, sba, sg, sm, wb, y

Stock Seed Farm Murdock, NE : b, Mhc, sba, sm, wb, y

Western Native Seeds Coaldale, CO b, bb, Mhc, sba, sm, y

Wildflower Farm, Coldwater, Ontario  : b, Mhc, p, sba, sm, wb, y

2B Seeds Golden Valley, MN b, Cc, Mhc, sm, y

Other places, nurseries in particular, will have plants (as opposed to seeds) of these species available, I didn't research that. Plants can be transplanted until a very hard frost, but will need supplemental water this fall.

This plant list was written for greater Denver: the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains at 5000 to 8000' in elevation. In that area, these plants are native and need no supplemental water once they have gotten their roots extended. You don't have to travel very far in any direction before other plants are native and some of these drop out. 

One last thing I want to say about growing natives is that native seed availability varies. It is still a small industry and they plant and gather energetically but the supply often runs out. When it does, it will be next summer before more seeds can be gathered. It should remind us not to take supplies--of anything--for granted. Somebody works hard for the things we click on.

Coloraod columbine, Aquilegia coerulea
Colorado columbine, Aquilegia coerulea

showy milkweed, Asclepias speciosa
showy milkweed, Asclepias speciosa

Questions and comments welcome.

Kathy Keeler

1 comment:

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