Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Growing native plants from seed

Last year in early June I took on a project to grow a few native plant seedlings for a prairie restoration effort with Spring Creek Forest Preserves and sponsers

Seed were collected by volunteers then a portion of that seed was given to the Chicago Botanic Garden for propagation in their greenhouses over the winter 2008/2009.When the seedlings had enough growth to be considered safe for planting outside in the garden and the weather had stabilized, the native seed gardener volunteers took over.

A list of the native seedlings had been sent to those volunteering to grow the seedlings in their garden and relevant information about the gardens gathered. Then the plants were collected by the volunteer gardeners, average about 4 or 5 plants each.

All those seedlings looked so pretty set out to be taken home by the gardeners.

Here are the seedlings I took home to grow for Spring Creek.

Northern Bedstraw/Galium boreale

Scurfy pea/Psoralea tenuiflorum

Canadian Hawkweed/Hieracium canadense

Michigan Lily/Lilium michiganense

The seedlings grew nicely through last summer into fall. The natives are now covered with snow and dormant until spring brings warmer temperatures and more sunlight hours per day. I grow anxious to find that the plants have returned to grow and produce seed that may then be gathered and sown in turn. Wish me luck!