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Has Anyone WS Virginia Bluebells?

Posted by docmom z5 MI (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 29, 12 at 22:01

I have these growing wild in my wooded yard. They are beautiful and I'm now seeing seed pods forming on the plants. What I've read so far describes them as slow to germinate and requiring cold stratification. I'm wondering if they would do well summer sown fresh from the pod. Any experience? TIA

Martha


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Has Anyone WS Virginia Bluebells?

Yes, I have ws'n them this winter as well as the past 2 winters. I sow them early in the winter so they get a long stratification period. I usually only get 2-3 sprouts each year, they're not abundant germinators. For those that don't sprout, I dump the soil and spread it so that misc. seeds can germinate out in the garden if they're so inclined.

I now have seedlings that sprouted this year, and plants that are 1 and 2 years old. None have bloomed yet! It is slow to bloom from seed and probably will bloom by the 3rd year.

How lucky you are that you have them growing wild! They are one of my very favorite perennials.


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RE: Has Anyone WS Virginia Bluebells?

Thanks, Terrene. I wonder if I wouldn't be better off just direct sowing them. But then I wouldn't be able to identify the seedlings to preserve them if they do sprout. I'm trying to limit the number of stray containers hanging around the yard. My husband is very tolerant, but he's a neat freak about the yard and hates the pot ghetto. I am lucky to have the VB growing wild. It's very tempting to take a shovel back into the woods and move them to a spot we could enjoy more. The previous owners did, or they bought one and planted it in the bed by the front door. Maybe I should just enjoy that one. No, I can't resist wintersowing some. Then I can enjoy them to my heart's content without any guilt. Wish me luck.

Martha


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RE: Has Anyone WS Virginia Bluebells?

I received this plant in a plant swap. It has multiplied. I'm glad to know it gives seeds, too. I just took a photo of mine under my maple tree. The rabbit guards it day and night. lol.


Photobucket



Don


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RE: Has Anyone WS Virginia Bluebells?

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 30, 12 at 15:49

Don I think yours looks like scilla, not Virginia bluebells.

Scilla increases at the bulb, and by seed - the rabbit may not need to be that diligent. Its terribly aggressive and a real nuisance in my mild climate, I've been digging it out for years. I know its appreciated in other climates, but a pain here :)

Docmom, I don't grow mertensia virginica but Druse, Making More Plants, says sow fresh seed outdoors when ripe (for germination the following spring), or carefully divide after flowering....if that helps you at all.

Here is a link that might be useful: Virginia bluebells


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RE: Has Anyone WS Virginia Bluebells?

Thanks, Morz8. I think I'll sow one container and toss the rest of the seeds into my mixed shade perennial bed. Then, if I get germination in the container, I'll know what to watch out for when weeding the garden bed.

Martha


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RE: Has Anyone WS Virginia Bluebells?

I'm sorry I posted the photo.

Don


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RE: Has Anyone WS Virginia Bluebells?

  • Posted by bakemom z6 Central Ohio (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 30, 12 at 22:26

stick with latin....clears up confusion,


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RE: Has Anyone WS Virginia Bluebells?

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Tue, May 1, 12 at 0:02

Don't be sorry, it's not your fault bluebell may mean more than one plant depending on who you are talking to. Bakemom has a good point - common names can be confusing.

If you want to increase your scilla/bluebell and are not leaving it to its own devices, the seeds are black, shiny in the pod when ripe. You could have best results Fall sowing them, giving them a warm, cold, cool sequence. That little grass blade like seedling will produce about a BB sized bulb in the first several weeks, don't think you've lost them if they go summer dormant - this is one tough plant ;)


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RE: Has Anyone WS Virginia Bluebells?

Thank-you to everyone for their responses, including the photo. It's good for me to be reminded that there are many common names that can refer to many popular plants. I still prefer the common names, since that's what I grew up with, but I'm willing to put up with some confusion once in a while. I almost posted the latin name in my original post, but decided I was too lazy an din too much of a hurry to look it up. Sorry for the confusion.

Martha


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RE: Has Anyone WS Virginia Bluebells?

Actually, I think the pic Don posted is of Hyacinthus hispanica, Spanish Bluebells. Apparently there are lots of plants called bluebells! I love Spanish bluebells too, but the vole wiped out most of mine in the front garden. :(

I would love to be able to sow some fresh seeds of Mertensia virginica (there's some latin for ya). I've sowed only the dried seed and it seems to have a low germination rate.

Docmom, you will have to find an out of the way place for the "pot ghetto". I don't know how to garden and not have one!


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RE: Has Anyone WS Virginia Bluebells?

I agree - Don's photo shows Hyacynthoides hispanica, Spanish bluebells, and is neither a Scilla nor a Mertensia. They will self sow as well as spreading by bulbs. They are a weed in some regions, including mine.

I would gladly swap them for some Mertensia virginica but sadly it doesn't like my conditions or my snails.


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RE: Has Anyone WS Virginia Bluebells?

Ooops, Hyacinthoides!


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RE: Has Anyone WS Virginia Bluebells?

It might not have been the right bluebell but it sure is beautiful, Don! Pretty pictures are always a good thing in my book. :)

Martha, here is a pic of Virginia Bluebell seedlings. They have the same texture as the adults, I find them hard to miss. They have a tendency to self sow right in the paths, I tiptoe around them until digging them out and potting them up. They get replanted after they go dormant.

Virginia Bluebell seedlings

Jeanne


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RE: Has Anyone WS Virginia Bluebells?

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Tue, May 1, 12 at 19:49

We're getting a little away from the original question here, but several references show Hyacinthoides hispanica, syn. Endymion hispanicus, syn. Scilla hispanica to all be what were once names for the same plant/bulb :)

I think we've agreed Martha has mertensia, and I'll continue to hope that DemPa's bulbs in that climate do not cause him the same amount of headache they do me. Someday I'll have to describe the bluebell digging work parties we've had over the years on this block....The deer helped one late winter only, that single year ate them to the ground and they still came back and bloomed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Syn, or aka's, or at least once aka


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