Seeds wanted

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #13348

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    The MBNZT can raise funds from the sale of milkweed seed, so if you would like to collect it for us, we would be grateful for it.

    HOWEVER, it needs to be clean and dry and healthy.

    Some people don’t know the first thing about collecting seeds – when it’s ripe etc, so I’ll put my thoughts here and others (please) can add to the topic. But please keep the topic on track – there are other threads for other stuff. Thanks!

    To be viable (useful) seed needs to have developed fully on the plant.

    Of course, as soon as the seed is ripe, the seed pod (fruit) will open and the seed will be scattered by the wind. If you’re organised you can probably check the pod regularly and ensure you get it just before this happens. The best trick I ever saw was a man who puts a spring clothes peg on the developing pod to keep it closed, and checks it when he gets a chance. When it opens naturally, he knows to snip the pod from the bush.

    Seed needs to be clean:

    I have found removing the seed from the seed pod and "everything else" is easiest done by holding pod outer and filaments (silk) in one hand, and bending the seeds/silk backwards. The silk is held while the seed can be sort-of rubbed/lifted off. It is easiest done at the time, while the silk is still damp and all compressed together. Once the silk dries it will expand and will get up your nose and EVERYWHERE, especially where you don’t want it.

    But if you can’t do it at the time, i.e. when the seed pod is removed from the plant, there are some other ways. You can put it in a pillow case (or similar) (definitely not plastic) so that the air still gets to it and it will dry but be contained. After some weeks you can lift out the waste and will have the seed at the bottom of the pillow case. But you will also have bugs that have been enjoying their feast of milkweed seeds/pod/silk.

    I can’t stress this enough: DO NOT PUT THE SEED ETC INTO ANY SEALED PLASTIC CONTAINER. It will be worthless – it will sweat, get mouldy and useless.

    I suggest packaging the seed you get in paper packets/bags or whatever, label it well, and let us know that it’s coming in the mail – or we can collect, or send you postage stamps beforehand.

    It is difficult to tell the two AFrican varieties until the seeds have formed (but the Giant Swan plant or Gomphocarpus physocarpus is a more vigorous grower).

    Swan plant – has the swan-shaped seed pods and attachments. G. fruticosus if you want the botanical name, used to be Asclepias fruticosa.

    Giant swan plant – Gomphocarpus fruticosus rounded, not ovoid (like a swan) and with a short stem attaching them to the plant. Between the size of a table tennis and a tennis ball. Usually in pairs – no wonder the English refer to it as Bishop’s Balls or Testicle Tree!

    Two American plants are Asclepias curassavica or tropical milkweed, both are smaller plants, and the seed pods are more like pea pod shape.

    A. curassavica Silky Scarlet, Bloodflower etc, has scarlet peals with gold or yellow corona

    Note: Most flowers have a ring of sepals, collectively called a calyx, and above that a ring of petals, collectively called a corolla. The milkweeds have an additional ring of appendages that sits above the corolla like a crown; it is called a corona, as do daffodils).

    A. curassavica Silky Gold has gold petals and corona.

Viewing 16 replies - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #33385

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    A reminder, please, that we would welcome your donations of seeds. In particular we need:

    Gomphocarpus fruticosus or swan plant (swan shape seed pods)

    G. physocarpus (larger, rounded fruit)

    Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)

    A. curassavica ‘Silky Red’, scarlet tropical milkweed (red or orange petals, yellow centre)

    A. curassavica ‘Silky Gold’, gold tropical milkweed (yellow petals and centre)

    Urtica incisa (stinging nettle), scrub nettle, Pureora

    #31988

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Donations of seeds – of host plants for any butterflies and nectar plants – are very welcome around about this time.

    Darren made this very informative instruction sheet about collecting milkweed seeds – but please note that ourĀ  address is now PO Box 44100, Pt Chevalier, Auckland 1246.

    https://www.monarch.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Collecting-your-own-swan-plant-seeds.pdf

    We sell many of these to raise funds for the MBNZT. We would particularly like some seeds of nectar plants so that we can make up some giveaway seed packs at the conference.

    Some notes that you’ll garner from posts in this thread:

    1. Make sure they are ABSOLUTELY dry.

    2. Please store them in paper bags.

    3. Add a desiccant (available free from your chemist, who would otherwise throw them away) to help keep them dry. They are the little things that sometimes come in sealed bottles of vitamin pills.

    4. Label them well – your name, plant name, when collected and also your email address so we can acknowledge them when they arrive.

    5. Wrap them several times so that if the package gets broken in the mail…

    Thank you for your kind donations!

    Jacqui

     

    #27737

    Jennifer
    Participant

    Well now I am completely stumped as to what plants i have. What size are the fructicosa seedpods? And are they ever in pairs like the physocarpus?

    #26664

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    PO Box 44100 Pt Chevalier, Auckland 1246 please.

    Thanks Anna.

    #26663

    Anna
    Participant

    I have some…what address should I send the seed to?

    #26656

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi everyone

    A reminder that we’d love your surplus seed… if you don’t want it. Best packaged in paper, rather than plastic.
    Could you also add your name/email/phone so we can contact you and say thanks – and also the date when collected… month/year is fine. If you want to ask your pharmacy next time you’re there for some desiccants (the little things that come in with pills to keep them dry) they will be happy to give you some.

    Thanks – every donation is appreciated. Here are the ones we sell or give away:

    SWAN PLANT – has the swan-shaped seed pods and attachments. Gomphocarpus fruticosus if you want the botanical name, used to be Asclepias fruticosa.

    G. physocarpus GIANT SWAN PLANT – rounded, not ovoid (like a swan) and with a short stem attaching them to the plant. Between the size of a table tennis and a tennis ball. Usually in pairs – no wonder the English refer to it as Bishop’s Balls or Testicle Tree!

    Two American plants are Asclepias curassavica or TROPICAL MILKWEED, both are smaller plants, and the seed pods are more like pea pod shape.

    A. curassavica SILKY SCARLET, Bloodflower etc, has scarlet peals with gold or yellow corona

    Note: Most flowers have a ring of sepals, collectively called a calyx, and above that a ring of petals, collectively called a corolla. The milkweeds have an additional ring of appendages that sits above the corolla like a crown; it is called a corona, as do daffodils).

    A. curassavica SILKY GOLD has gold petals and corona.

    A. incarnata – SWAMP MILKWEED, pink or ‘Ice Ballet’ (white)

    Plus any stinging nettle and/or nectar plants.

    THANKS for all donations!

    #26223

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Posted somewhere in the forum about my planned seed bags – well dear Margaret Topzand made me some, and they’re working well. Effortless capture of seeds!

    Take a remnant of curtain netting – one that will let the light and warmth and air through, but not let your seeds escape. Buy a measure of Velcro the same length as the length of your remnant fabric.

    Cut a strip of fabric lengthwise, and about 20-25cm wide. Sew the hook side of Velcro to one edge, and the loop to the other, so when it’s attached you’ve made a sausage skin.

    Now stitch up the two ends of the sausage skin, and zig-zag a row about 10cm from the end, and another zigzag row across the strip just far enough away so that you can cut (separate) the pocket. Continue down the strip, making separate bags or envelopes.

    I put the whole seedhead in the bag, and velcro it shut. Give it a good shake after I can see the seed has left the pod, turn it upside down so the seed falls to the bottom of the bag, and then remove the whole bag on a sunny day when all is nice and dry.

    #25847

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Those photos are great, Darren. I like the way you can compare the photos on the different pages, it helps a lot.

    This adapted from the Monarch Watch site, who also collect seeds… they must have enough fluff to fill dozens of mattresses!

    Please use a separate container for the seeds of each milkweed species.

    To be sure that the seeds you collect are used in your region, we need the following information on each seed collection:

    Your name, address and email.
    The date, county, and state of the collection.
    The species collected.

    Notes on the size of the milkweed population, e.g. large, medium, small, one or many sites, etc., would also be helpful.

    “When the pods are first beginning to split (ripe but as yet to open pods should split upon touch and the seeds should be brown or ?browning up?). Do not collect pods in which the seeds are white, cream colored or pale.”

    Do not wrap in plastic – paper will keep them dry and contained. Send to MBNZT, PO Box 44100, Pt Chevalier, Auckland 1246, with your contact details so we can acknowledge them/get in touch if we need to query anything.

    THANKS!

    #25829

    Darren
    Participant
    #25824

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    I’m reviving this thread as it will soon be time for those people who want to, to send in their surplus seed to the MBNZT (PO Box 44100, Pt Chevalier, Auckland 1246).

    All of the instructions in the first post are relevant but please refer to the names used below in bold or CAPITALS as if you send in ‘orange swan plant’ we don’t know for sure what you mean!

    Could you also add your name/email/phone so we can contact you and say thanks – and also the date when collected… month/year is fine.

    If you want to ask your pharmacy next time you’re there for some desiccants (the little things that come in with pills to keep them dry) they will be happy to give you some.

    Thanks – every donation is appreciated. Here are the ones we sell or give away:

    SWAN PLANT – has the swan-shaped seed pods and attachments. Gomphocarpus fruticosus if you want the botanical name, used to be Asclepias fruticosa.

    G. physocarpus GIANT SWAN PLANT – rounded, not ovoid (like a swan) and with a short stem attaching them to the plant. Between the size of a table tennis and a tennis ball. Usually in pairs – no wonder the English refer to it as Bishop’s Balls or Testicle Tree!

    Two American plants are Asclepias curassavica or TROPICAL MILKWEED, both are smaller plants, and the seed pods are more like pea pod shape.

    A. curassavica SILKY SCARLET, Bloodflower etc, has scarlet peals with gold or yellow corona

    Note: Most flowers have a ring of sepals, collectively called a calyx, and above that a ring of petals, collectively called a corolla. The milkweeds have an additional ring of appendages that sits above the corolla like a crown; it is called a corona, as do daffodils).

    A. curassavica SILKY GOLD has gold petals and corona.

    A. incarnata – SWAMP MILKWEED, pink or ‘Ice Ballet’ (white)

    Plus any nectar plants

    #23318

    bcjenk
    Participant

    Claire, I wouldn't plant seeds now, as there's not enough season left to grow (unless you are in the winterless north). Hang on to them till August-Sept and they should germinate better after the drying. They don't like hard frosts and if they are too sheltered the aphids will be so pleased. Bryan.

    #23272

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    I can pick them up off you when I've in tauranga in a few weeks if you like, Darren. Thanks!

    Jacqui

    #23269

    Darren
    Participant

    So apart from not in plastic is there any particular way you would like them packaged? I have some G. fruticosus and A. incarnata to send in.

    #23170

    Claire Bear
    Participant

    Hi there,

    I have collected a whole bunch off our large swan plant and am happy to send them in. Of-course I'd like to plant a few here, but I'm not sure of the proceedure…

    Can I simply plant them straight away or do I need to let them dry out for a period?

    Thank you for your help.

    #19006

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi Rose

    They sure do. The MBNZT has seeds available – $5 for a packet includes P&P. We have Giant Swan Plant, A. curassavica Scarlet and A. curassavica Gold. If you want them, you can pay by internet banking to the MBNZT or send payment with order to MBNZT, C/- NZ Post, Russell.

    #19003

    rosemjuliet
    Participant

    Hi
    Just read this and will follow instructions and collect and post many seeds to you when the time comes.
    Is there anyone on this site who could give me seed from the giant swan plant as I don’t think I have even seen it. Also the blood flower.
    Do the monarchs lay on these plants also??

Viewing 16 replies - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.