americano seeds

This seed is freshly collected from plants we grew from seed we originally collected in Central Mexico. Thick stems sport large floppy leaves and spikes of small white flowers. In autumn masses of attractive, glossy, purple-black, stem-clasping berries are produced. We have been advised by french botanist that this plant can be invasive in some conditions so please take care where it is grown.

For best results, sow immediately onto a good soil-based compost. Cover the seeds with fine grit or compost to approximately their own depth. They can be sown at any time, and germination can sometimes be quicker if kept at 15 to 20 degrees C. We sow most seeds in an unheated greenhouse and wait for natural germination, as many seeds have built-in dormancy mechanisms, often waiting for natural spring germination, hence giving them a full season of growth.

Sowing Advice.

Startling, almost black, rounded foliage, some leaves having silvery metallic stripes, makes compact clumps from spring until winter. This is the darkest-leaved heuchera seedling we have ever grown, and unfortunately it produces very few seeds indeed, and variation may occur in the subsequent seedlings, the flower spikes being relatively insignificant sprays of pale pink flowers.

For best results, sow immediately onto a good soil-based compost. Cover the seeds with fine grit or compost to approximately their own depth. They can be sown at any time, and germination can sometimes be quicker if kept at 15 to 20 degrees C. We sow most seeds in an unheated greenhouse and wait for natural germination, as many seeds have built-in dormancy mechanisms, often waiting for natural spring germination, hence giving them a full season of growth.

Sowing Advice.

Germination Ease: No Stratification.

Latin Name: Centaurea americana.

Sunlight: Full Sun, Part Sun.

DESCRIPTION.

Seed Saving: After the flower fades, the tiny oblong seeds will form. As soon as the seed can easily be removed, it is mature. Remove the dried seed heads and rub them lightly to separate the seed from the husk. Store the seed in a cool, dry place.

Bloom Season: Blooms Late Spring, Blooms Early Summer.

Life Cycle: Annual.

US Regions: California, Mountain, Arid/Desert, Plains/Texas, Midwest, Northern, Northeast, Southeast.

Sowing: Direct sow in late fall or early spring, planting the seeds thinly and 1/2″ deep. In the spring, keep the soil moist after sowing; germination should occur within 7-10 days. To start indoors, plant three or four seeds 1/2″ below the surface in individual peat pots. Keep the soil lightly moist and at a temperature of 65-70 degrees F until germination; thin to the strongest seedlings. Transplant the seedlings before they reach a height of 5″.

Common Names: American Star Thistle, American Napweed, Thornless Thistle, Sweet Sultan, Shaving Brush, American Basket-Flower, Powderpuff Thistle, Cardo del Valle.

Harvesting: Basketflowers make excellent cut flowers, and have a sweet honey-like fragrance. They usually have a vase life of 4-5 days. When dried, the flowers retain their color and make a good addition to dried flower arrangements or potpourri. To dry the flowers, choose blossoms that have just begun blooming; pick them as soon as the dew has dried. Bundle the stems and hang them upside down in a well-ventilated, dark place for about 2 weeks.

HOW TO GROW.

Common Names: American Star Thistle, American Napweed, Thornless Thistle, Sweet Sultan, Shaving Brush, American Basket-Flower, Powderpuff Thistle, Cardo del Valle.

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The basket-like base of these blossoms holds delicate petals, hence its name. Although it is a distant relative of the thistle, the colorful flowers give off a sweet honey-like scent.

Growing: Water seedlings occasionally until they become established. Mature plants prefer dry soil and handle drought well. Prune off developing tips to force the plant to produce more branches and fuller growth, as well as more flowers. This plant attracts butterflies and bees, in addition to providing nutritious seed for birds.

Species Origin: US Native Wildflower.

FAST FACTS.

Seed Saving: After the flower fades, the tiny oblong seeds will form. As soon as the seed can easily be removed, it is mature. Remove the dried seed heads and rub them lightly to separate the seed from the husk. Store the seed in a cool, dry place.

This American relative of bachelor’s button or cornflower grows wild in the south-central region of the United States as well as in Mexico. Its common name is derived from the basket-like base of each blossom that holds the delicate petals. The genus name “Centaurea” comes from Greek mythology, as according to legend, one of the centaurs used this flower for healing purposes after battle.

Type: Native Wildflowers.

Sowing: Direct sow in late fall or early spring, planting the seeds thinly and 1/2″ deep. In the spring, keep the soil moist after sowing; germination should occur within 7-10 days. To start indoors, plant three or four seeds 1/2″ below the surface in individual peat pots. Keep the soil lightly moist and at a temperature of 65-70 degrees F until germination; thin to the strongest seedlings. Transplant the seedlings before they reach a height of 5″.

USDA Zones: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

Color: Pink.