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Turtlehead seedpods - when are they ripe?

Posted by gardenweed_z6a 5b/6a N CT (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 23, 11 at 14:00

Does anyone have experience harvesting seeds from Chelone/turtlehead? I'm growing both the white form (WS) and the pink. Both bloomed profusely this year and the plants have what appear to be nice fat seedpods where the flowers grew on the stems. The seedpods on the white plant are gradually turning dark brown but they're splitting open while still more than half green. The seeds are a dark tan color but the half green seedpod says to me they're still not fully ripe. Has anyone harvested turtlehead seeds from their own plants & successfully WS them?

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RE: Turtlehead seedpods - when are they ripe?

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 23, 11 at 15:18

gardenweed, if they are splitting (and you aren't pinching them, impatiently ;)), chances are they are ripe. A bit of green at the bottom of the pod doesn't always mean they aren't ready yet, especially if the seeds you can see are tan to brown, not beige/white.

My own are still blooming hard, no seeds yet but our summers are so cool mine are very late every year. I will end up bagging a couple (nylon stocking square and twist tie) to insure I will get some, even if an early Fall storm knocks them down.

While they don't need a prolonged moist chill, they do winter sow reliably, easily in my mild Z8 at least.

My clump is pink, I bought some seeds for white and winter sowed those last year....they came up nicely and are still in pots! Thanks for the reminder, gotta get those in the ground

Here is a link that might be useful: Chelone, profile pods, seeds

RE: Turtlehead seedpods -- when are they ripe?

Thanks morz8!! I've been watching them like a hawk but haven't pinched any, impatiently or otherwise. I did pull one off the stem out of curiosity because the stems are so loaded with them. It was just beginning to split so I pried it open with my fingers to see what it looked like on the inside. There's a soft white pulp inside which was another thing that made me think they probably weren't quite ripe.

The white ones I'm growing are from commercial seed while the pink plant is a division from a friend. The white gets a little midday sun while the pink one gets an hour or two more than that. The white bloomed a full three weeks earlier than the pink. The bees really love them and I was able to stand close enough to get these, without using a zoom lens:

RE: Turtlehead seedpods - when are they ripe?

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 23, 11 at 20:21

I must not have your patience, I'm a pod pincher!

Your third photo makes me think bumblelina (thumblelina):)

RE: Turtlehead seedpods - when are they ripe?

What lovely pics. This info comes at a very opportune time because after several years, I finally got this plant to grow (by accident) and flower in its container. I have been watching to see if any seeds with be forthcoming since I have only one flowering stem, and today I noticed the flowers have fallen off. Now I'll know what to look for as seed pods.

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