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Gardening Secrets

Seed List

Dear Readers,

I had a long trip to town for groceries today and it is raining . . . But I need to stash my seed list somewhere on line – and this seems a good a place as any . . . I would welcome any comments, questions, corrections, etc.

Key, Please be patient – this is a work in progress:

1. Appearance and placement:
TR – Tree; Sh – Shrub; AV – Annual Vine; DV – Deciduous vine
OB – Ornamental, back of bed; OF – Ornamental , front of border; OM – Ornamental, middle of bed; DG – Dry garden

2. Use in organic landscape:
DA- Dynamic accumulator (Improves bio-availability of soil minerals); AB – Attracts beneficial insects (You know they guys that eat the bad bugs, and they guys that polinate your flowers so they set seeds. These guys need special high energy nectar and pollen to do their job.) CC – Compost crop (produces pleanty of carbon as straw, leaves, or stems for dry bulk in compost pile or mulch.)

3. Crafts:
DS – Dry Arrangements, seed heads; DF – Dry arrangements, flowers; RG – Rattle Gourds; PS – Potpourri, seeds

4. Food, Etc:
EF – Edible Flowers; EL – Edible Leaf; ES – Edible Seed; ER – Edible roots; EFR – Edible Fruit; MR – Medicinal Root; ML Medicinal Leaf, shoots, sticks, or stalks; MS – Medicinal Seeds (I am not recommending any uses – just noting folklore.); SL – Seasoning, leaves; SS – Seasoning, seeds; SF – Seasoning, flower;

(Other uses are contained in descriptions.)
Recommended reading: “Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally,” By Robert Kourik, published by Metamorphic Press – ISBN 0-9615848-0-7 Distributed by Rodale Press (Your library or bookstore can probably order this for you.)
I am in USDA Zone 8. Everything except the fuchsia should be hardy to at least zone 7.

I am actively trading on a number of lists so this is subject to change . . .

Up-dated 12-27-05

Seeds I have already collected and some of which I have done germination tests on are listed below:

All seeds are saved this year from my garden unless otherwise noted.

Carrot Surprise – I grow a variety of the short rooted orange types in a mixed bed – so seed is mixed. As I learned from one of my garden mentors – I save seed each year and also throw in some new seed for genetic variety. (Carrots and onions are supposed to be good companion plants – each reducing the incidence of pests to the other. ) 1 – OM; 2 – AB, DA; 3 – DS; 4 – EF, ER, MS
Chinese Cilantro / Coriander – yum . . . One or two trades left. Short lived annual that can be grown year around here in zone 8. Keep pinched back for longer production. Germinates sporadicly over a 6 week period at room tempreture to about 80%.1 – OF – informal beds or when young, OM; 2 – AB; 3 – DS, PS; 4 -MS, SL, SS, EL, EF

Chives, Purple Flowered, Allium schoenoprasum- DA, EF,EL – Older plants provide “green onions” from spring through fall. Younger plants provide “chives” for the same duration. Sporadic germination beginning at end of first week and continueing through 3 week to approximatly 50%. 1- OM; 3- DS, DF; 4- SL,

Cosmos – Red and Orange mixed – from a trade, 1 – OM

Elecampane – needs to be cold stratified, (these have not yet germinated for me) 1- OM or OB; 2- AB; 4- ML, MR

Ephedera, Native – Ephedera veridis: This is a desert plant that I am experimenting with here in the rain forrest. When I first tried to grow these out – I failed repeatedly. I germinated one successfully by a special little technique I used to use with childern to teach them about germination. You need a clear plastic cup, a paper towel, and some alluminum foil. Fold the papertowle in half long ways, place on a piece of aluminemum foil only slightly bigger than the papertowel. Fold down the top and bottom , twice, catching the papertowel in a seem of the fold. Form your foil – towel in a cone or a cylindar with the towle side out. Place inside your clear plastic cup and work it around so it is in firm contact with the sides of the cup. Place your seeds between the cup and towle and add a bit of water to the cup to keep the towel moist. Wait till the seedling is completely upright to transfer to a small pot. I had germination within 15 days, and sucessfully transferred to a small pot within a month. It took 3 months for the first non seed leaf shoot to develop. I germinated this guy in the fall and have been keeping him moist. He seems happy. 1- DG, SH, 4 – ML
Evening primrose, Oenothera biennis – (5’ tall) (The only parts I have tried to eat are the seeds – which were fine – and the leaf – which I seem to be allergic too.) 1 – OB, 2– DA; 3 -, DS; 4 – ES, EL, ER, EF

Garland Chrysanthemum – edible herb – flavor reminds me of a mild smoky cilantro. This is a short term annual that can be grown year around here in zone 8. Keep pinched back for longer production. Succsesive sowings ensure continuous supply. Seeds germinate at room tempreture over 2 week period. It is difficult to sperate seeds from chaff – but germination rate seems to be about 50% or better. One or two trades left. 1 – OF, OM, SL; 2 – AB; 4 – EF, EL
Buffalo gourd – this gourd is Native to the south west and has edible, medicinal and other important cultural uses. They need a fairly long warm growing season . They can send out a dozen “tentacles” 10 – 12 feet – or longer. They are small – between baseball and soft ball size medium walled gourd – kind of a slightly flattened sphere . . . See the following link for photos and information: (Old but still viable) ES, RG

Greek Oregano – Yum! This is the only Oregano I grow – and the marjoram is far enough away that they shouldn’t cross . . .SL, SF, OF, OM, DS

Harvest’s Heal All – Prunela vulgaris: This is a sport that showed up in my garden – a very neat compact lovely specimen of Self heal – which seems to come true to seed . . . These make good seed pods for flower arranging and nice low border – bedding plant for the informal garden. (See “Self Heal” below for links to pics and info.) DS, OF, ML

Harvest’s Pink Star Tobacco: 3 – 5 feet tall, somewhat rangy, first year forms a basal rosette – which over 1 – 3 years may reach 3 – 5 feet across. Then it starts growing up and blooming with profuse small pink trumpets marked in white to form a star like pattern. They are slightly fragrant and much loved by hummingbirds. Mine has been in continuous bloom since January. The leaves can be used to make an insecticidal tea –I do this – and this is a variety that can be smoked – I don’t – but I do braid the leaves for gifts. (Once it starts flowering it no longer produces the long braid-able leaves– but it is long lived as a flowering plant.) Grow in a sheltered location with part sun and you will be rewarded with a long bloom time and copious seed. The seed pods are very attractive and can be dried and saved for wreaths and arrangements. Seeds (each one the size of a speck of dust) are slow to start. Plants all seem to be pretty uniform from seed. This tobacco started out as a bunch of different varieties in North Highlands CA – a neighborhood where I used to live near Sacramento CA. They randomly hybridized and this is what they became . . . . Here is some info on germinating seeds: They need bottom heat and the tiny seedlings need to be kept warm for at least 6 – 12 weeks. DA, DS, OB

Holly Hocks, mixed colors – from a trade. Holly Hocks are deep rooted which is usefull to break up heavy soil and as a companion plant to young trees. EF
Melon surprise – Packet with 4 varieties of small melons. Watermelon types: Red Doll & Yellow doll; Honey dew types: Sprite, and a small Asian melon. (If you want to trade for separate melon types let me know – but they haven’t been isolated . . .) (Saved 2004) 4-EFR
Moth Mullein, yellow {Verbascum blattaria} (Pretty dang tall – may throw some white or cream offspring) This is the mullein of olive oil/ mullein flower fame for ear aches – I don’t recommend this remedy, however. Also the immature seed pods produce a cooling resin that can be extracted in glycerin to make a remedy for poison oak and sun burn. Deep rooted – usefull to break up heavy soil and as a companion plant to young trees. DA, EF, DS

(The moth mulleins can be started fall, winter, or spring. They are bi-annual. They make great seed pods for dry flower arranging. Flowers open in the wee hours of the morning, and close soon after the sun hits them – so think of a spot where you can enjoy them mornings. In full bloom they will take your breath away. If growing for dry flower arranging and you want tall straight stems, plant in full sun well spaced. If growing for a breakfast garden – a spot with morning shade is best. Plants not grown in full sun tend to lean, twist, and tangle. )

Parsnips – Not only are they wonderful to eat – if you let them flower and go to seed they make a nice tall, temporary, fragrant specimen for cottage gardens and the back of informal borders. They are especially nice when inter-grown with the Queen Anne’s
Lace. Everyone who visits my garden comments on the parsnips even when they are just growing out and especially when they are in bloom. Need to be direct sown. They take 6 – to nine months from sowing to harvesting mature roots or seeds. For vegetable use I inter-grow with lettuce, carrots and other quicker crops. By sowing every 3 months I have a continuous supply. (This is my main vegetable carbohydrate as I am intolerant of potatoes and most grains.) Needs protection from gophers. Deep rooted – usefull to break up heavy soil and as a companion plant to young trees. Germination is sporadic over two months to about 80%. Germinates at room temp and in fridge. I direct sow this one in beds for normal use as it is not fond of being transplanted. 1 OB – if letting go to seed, OM – if growing to eat;. 2 – AB; 3- DS; 4- ER, MS
Queen Anne’s Lace – 3 – 5 feet tall, airy ferny member of the carrot family with a long bloom time. This plant is reputed to reduce incidence of Japanese beetles when inter-grown with affected plants. Deep rooted – usefull to break up heavy soil and as a companion plant to young trees. (1) AB, DA, DS, EF, OB

Rattle Snake Grass – Briza major: Ornamental grass to 30 inches. Collected from wild 2005. Germination: 30 days room temp – followed by refrigeration. Seeds begain germinating in about 2 weeks and continued germinating over a 2 week period. Approximately 80% germination from test. 1-OM, 2-CC, 3-DS

Self Heal – Prunela vulgaris: I have some of the regular wild ones which get kind of rangy. Link to photos:
Medicinal properties:
And information on its edibility:

Sweet Cicely – There seems to be some confusion on which exact plant is actually called sweet cicely. Mine is a short lived annual that gets about a foot tall. It can be grown year around here in zone 8. Keep pinched back for longer production. I do succsesive sowings through out the year. It is easy to germinate, and begins germinating in about a week, and has about a 50% germination rate. It also self sows in my yard. It is a wonderful sweet anice scented and flavored herb for cooking and tea. One or two trades left. 1- OF; 4 – EL, EF, SL

Vervain, blue – Verbena hastata from a trade: Photo and medicinal info:,%20Blue&OVRAW=Verbena%20hastata&OVKEY=verbena%20hastata&OVMTC=standard Brief plant description:

Winter squash surprise. Packet with 16 varieties of small winter squash. (These haven’t been isolated.) (Some from 2004 and some from 2005) Small spaghetti, acorn, white acorn, white acorn with green stripes, mini-white-pumpkin, dumpling – 2 varieties, butternut, orange-mini-pumpkins, mini-butternut, delicata, Danish, small baking pumpkin, small blue pumpkin, turks turbin, mini sweet potatoe squash, mini-hubbard. (I can trade for separate varieties if you like.) EF (Some of these may be in very short supply – if you have your heart set on a certain variety please let me know and I will see if I still have enough to share.)

The following seeds are drying and should be available by spring:

Catalpa tree: Here is a page with some info – but the pics are lousy: There is a photo of the leaves and pods on this page, second photo on page: And here is a close up of the flowers:

Gourd, Medium basket – This basket gourd has edible seeds. ES

Small rattle – The small rattle gourds are bothered by gophers – will need some sort of protection if you have these vile creatures.

Squash, Summer -Yellow Crook Neck, EFR

Medium Pie Pumpkin – EFR, ES

Copyright 2006  Harvest McCampbell

Harvest McCampbell, Iroquois & Cherokee descendant
Bio Diverse Gardens Consultant


About James Morales

I am a choctaw and a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. I grew up in the Conehatta coummunity and attended the Conehatta Indian School. CEO - Native Hoop Inc President - Native Hoop Management President - Native Emergency Relief & Volunteer Agency, Inc Executive Producer - Voices of the Hoop Executive Producer - N8tive Soundz & Newz Executive Producer - The Hoop


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