‘Tis the season . . .

‘Tis the season . . .

. . . to collect seeds. With summer’s flowers now a memory, a crew from Little Bluestem Nursery spent a beautiful morning at The Quarry Gardens last week collecting seeds of prairie plants to propagate over the winter and spring.

In the featured photo, the nursery’s principal Ben Kessler is cutting Splitbeard bluestem, Andropogon ternarius, a native grass that shines in sunlight.

Among other seeds, they also collected:

–      Hoary mountain mint, Pycnanthemum incanum 

–      Inland sea oats, Chasmanthium latifolium

–      Wild indigo, Baptisia tinctoria

–      Curlyheads, Clematis orchraleuca

–      Pink muhly grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris

–      Black-eyed susan, Rudbeckia hirta

–      Switchgrass, Panicum virgatum

–      Shrubby St. John’s wort, Hypericum prolificum

–      Purple lovegrass, Eragrostis spectabilis


Above, others of the group forage among the nearly 100 species to be found in the demonstration gardens near the Visitor Center. Here, Wool grass, Scirpus cyperinus, seems to be the focus.

Little Bluestem is a non-profit nursery in Afton, Virginia, that seeds, tends and distributes native plants of our regional ecosystems that are not readily available in the trade. The nursery offers for sale trays of plugs and some quarts; the list may be found at littlebluestem.net