What are Open Pollinated Flowers?

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Applewood specializes in small to large-scale production of open pollinated (OP) flower seeds which include wildflowers, heirloom garden flowers and newer flower varieties. They reproduce either through cross-pollination or self-pollination. OP garden flowers are standard varieties that breed true, producing offspring that look the same as their parents. This is called breeding “true to type”. They are sown from seed collected in the previous growing season without concern that the offspring will have vastly different traits from the parents.

Petunia ‘Fire Chief’

An example of one of our OP flower varieties is Petunia ‘Fire Chief’. It was developed by Bodger Seeds and became an All-America Selections (AAS) winner in 1950. An even older example is Cosmos ‘Sensation Mix’. It was developed within the seed trade and became an AAS winner in 1936.

In contrast to OP flower varieties, the offspring of many hybrid species do not breed true. It is not advisable to retain seeds of hybrid plants for planting in the next growing season. F1 hybrids are developed through a process of crossing two different varieties of the same plant species. Each parent plant comes from a pure line and breeds true to type. Pollination is achieved through hand pollination of the female line using pollen from the male line. It is time consuming and more expensive, but the offspring have favorable traits of both parent lines. F1 hybrids are very consistent in appearance and characteristics. Read more

Plan Now for Your 2018 Monarch Butterfly Garden

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The Monarch Butterfly is probably one of the most recognizable butterflies in North America.  It is in trouble! Monarch populations have been declining for a number of years. The loss of food (nectar) plants and milkweeds has been indicated as a major contributor to these declines. By growing nectar sources and milkweeds, which are host plants for the monarch, you can help to offset these losses. To assist in the conservation of the monarch butterfly, we have created two seed mixes:

Monarch Butterfly Garden Mix – this is composed of wildflowers, garden flowers and milkweeds. Plant it in most areas of the U.S. and southern Canada. It is recommended for home gardens, golf courses, parks, businesses and other maintained garden sites.

Native Flower Mix for Monarchs this is composed entirely of wildflowers and milkweeds that are native to the Midwest. It is useful for planting in the summer breeding range and flyway zones in the Midwestern part of North America. It is recommended for meadow plantings, roadsides, and revegetation projects.

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Featured Flower: Dwarf Helenium (Helenium amarum)

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The genus, Helenium, is believed to be named after Helen of Troy, and amarum means bitter, which refers to the bitter taste of the plants. Other common names are Bitterweed, American Bitterweed and Bitter Sneezeweed.

 

Dwarf Helenium is a native annual from Texas, the Southeastern and Midwestern U.S. It is typically found in prairies, pastures, woodland openings and along roadsides. Plants grow to 12 inches high, have a mounding habit and have very fine, thread-like leaves. They have bright yellow flowers and are very long-blooming; flowering occurs from summer through early fall.

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Breaking Dormancy – – Cold Stratification

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In many parts of the Northern Hemisphere right now nature is busy breaking seed dormancy through the application of cold and moisture. Some seeds, often perennials, exhibit dormancy or “the incapacity of a viable seed to germinate under favorable conditions.”(1)  Dormancy fulfills an important function for plants since it allows seeds to survive conditions and […]

More New Garden Flowers

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We have added some colorful, favorite garden flowers to our offerings this year. Lobelia ‘Crystal Palace’ (Lobelia erinus) is an old-fashioned annual favorite that can be used for rock gardens, beds, border edges and containers. The compact plants have deep blue flowers that bloom all summer long and can be planted in full sun or […]

New Garden Everlastings

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New for 2016 are a variety of flowers known as “everlastings” or, in France, as “immortelles.” These are flowers that keep their color and form when they are dried. Many of these species have colorful, papery petals or bracts that are dry and stiff while still attached to the living plant.

New Natives for 2016

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Desert Penstemon (Penstemon pseudospectabilis) is a perennial that is native to southern California,  Arizona and western New Mexico.  The rose colored flowers last for many weeks and are spectacular when planted in large groups.  Desert Penstemon is perfect for the western Xeriscape garden and pollinator plantings.   The flowers are attractive to hummingbirds, honey bees and […]