Rainy day in the greenhouse -- harvesting Clarkia rubicunda seeds

Today's post is rather drab, having to do with dead plants and seeds. It does have a video in it though.

So let me pull in a bit of color and remind you how glorious are the blossoms of Clarkia rubicunda, a lovely annual native California beauty!

Clarkia rubicunda, ruby chalice clarkia.
Locally native in Santa Cruz County (and elsewhere).

Clarkia rubicunda, ruby chalice clarkia.
Masses of it!!

Oh the rain is wonderful! And what better way to spend a rainy day than grubbing about in the greenhouse, while torrents of rain cascade down the roof and you are cosy and dry inside, cleaning seeds and listening to a very BBC podcast on The Gin Craze in 18th century England.

Here's a short and very unprofessional video I took of me stomping on dried Clarkia rubicunda plants to spring open the long seed capsules and release seeds, and then sieving the chaff out of them.

And here are some redundant photos in case video doesn't work for you or you want to linger on each step.

I harvested plants when dried out. Kept them dry (for a rainy day!)
Stomped in small batches, in a big bucket

Stomping springs open the long seed capsules and releases...

Billions and Billions ...

And billions and billions of seeds!
Well, a heck of a lot anyway.
This is how they look after a few siftings to get rid of most of the chaffy stuff.
It's very soothing to sift seeds.
Then it gets INCREASINGLY frustrating cos you'll never EVER
get rid of all the chaff.
Not unless you do other things which I don't.
Like use blowers and suchlike apparatus.
Sometimes I winnow though.
But not in the rain :-D

See what I mean about this post getting colorless? -- Here's another hint of how lovely ruby chalice clarkia is in June and July - and beyond!

I can't wait to seed bomb our road!!


Diana Studer said…
from the flowers (pink but) and the long seed capsules - are these related to Californian poppies?
Country Mouse said…
Poppy is in Papaveraceae family and Clarkia is in Onagraceae so - not that closely I guess. The clarkia capsules are four chambered and I think that's different from poppy. Seems to be a similar strategy though!
Ruby Shopie said…
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