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Collecting black cohosh (cimicifuga racemosa) seeds

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to collect black cohosh seeds? I have tried for two years running with some, but not great success, waiting for he pods to turn brown, dry, and open slightly before collecting. The first year I got NOTHING.

The second year I waited longer, but because so many of the pods had opened so far, when shaken I could hear seeds rattling around, and only a few of the pods had seeds, I harvested the entire batch. I was afraid I had missed the "good" harvesting time and was collecting only the dregs of what was left.

What I ended up with were a lot of very immature seeds, and a small batch of those that were ready. I was still on the early side of the "good" harvest time, not the late.

I'm thinking of wrapping the leg of a cutoff pantyhose around the frond and just letting it do it's thing next year, and not even thinking about it until the plant dies back. Thinking about how that will look has me laughing, though.

I'd love to hear any suggestions how to be more successful in my seed collecting of this plant. At least I have the one plant that is getting bigger-last resort will be to split it in another few years.


Comments (3)

  • Patrick Hugh

    Have you tried

    It has some really interesting information about black cohosh. Another site I was looking at, said to harvest the seeds in late September or October. Depends on what zone you live in.

    I'm just getting ready for my harvest. I'm going to pick the seeds when they're just beginning to split, as another site suggested. I have an area where I can grow a nice patch. Some seeds may not grow the first year, but the site claims the second year they will, depending on the viability of the seed.

    If your looking to grow more plants, it seems the best method is to dig up the plant and divide the plant, making sure you get a rhizome.

    Happy propagation!


  • carolhight1

    I put an organza bag (found at the Hobby Lobby bridal dept.) over the seed pods when they appear to be turning brown. Pull the drawstring tight and the seeds will fall inside. Much easier than trying to tie a panty hose foot around the stalk. When the seeds fall out, snip off the stalk and collect the seeds from the bag.

    beatrice_outdoors thanked carolhight1
  • carolhight1

    Since these seeds need to be planted while fresh, if you collect with a bag you'll need to collect seeds over a period of time, as they ripen sequentially. Just tie the bag back on once you collect any seeds that have fallen out.

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