Wood Thrush offered some seeds this year, so I consulted my new list of compatible plants and bought a few (lol).
Helianthus divaricatus (Woodland Sunflower)
- From Wood Thrush: Woodland sunflower grows in large patches in dry rocky woods, clearings and edges. Prefers well-drained soil. Yellow sunflowers appear in July through August. One of the earliest perennial sunflowers to bloom. Grows 3-5′ tall. Zone 3-8. WV ecotype. Germination requirements: 60 days cold, moist stratification.
- Rhizomatic and spreads vigorously so be sure to give it a lot of room (meaning not in the orchard). Plant seed 1/8″ deep. Sow in flats outside in winter.
Veronicastrum virginicum (Culvers Root)
- From Wood Thrush: Culvers root is a tall stately perennial with long spiky white flowers from June to July which attract lots of butterflies. Grows up to 6 feet tall on narrowly upright stems with whorls of thin leaves. Moistish soils and full sun are preferred. This plant can stand up to a lot of other big plants. Excellent for naturalizing in meadows. Zone 3-8; WV ecotype. Germination requirements: 60 days cold, moist stratification.
- Seeds need light to germinate, so don’t cover with soil; remove mulch in spring. Sow in flats outside in winter.
Aconitum uncinatum (Southern Blue Monkshood)
- From Wood Thrush: Part to full shade; fertile, moist soil; resembling a vine in habit, this plant sends up several slender arching stems to 5’ or more in length that like to lean on other plants for support; beautiful, unusual violet-ultramarine blue flowers resemble an ornate hood and are about 1” across; leaves are thick, deep green and cut into 3-5 lobes; a fine plant for gardens, pond and stream margins; blooms July-Sept. Zones 5-8; WV. ecotype. Germination requirements: 60 days cold moist stratification.
- From The Spruce: “It can be finicky about germination and may take a year or more to sprout. Start extra seeds and don’t expect them all to germinate. Sow the seed from fall to early spring. They need to go through a chilling period, to break dormancy. The plants don’t really like to be transplanted, so direct sow if possible. They can be ephemeral their first year, so don’t panic if they disappear.”
Allium cernuum (Nodding onion)
- From Wood Thrush: Full sun to part shade; average, well-drained soil; small, pink and pretty, nodding bell-shaped flowers; good for rock gardens, lightly shaded banks; plants 1’ to 1.5’ tall; Blooms in July in zones 3-8, WV. ecotype.
- From Everwilde: These plants benefit from being divided every third year, or when the clump expands to 8-10 plants. New plants grow easily from transplanted bulbs. The plant also self sows easily; to prevent this, remove blossoms as soon as they fade. As well as repelling deer, rodents, and harmful insects, this plant attracts butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Sow in flats outside in winter.
Diarrhena americana (American Beakgrain)
- From Wood Thrush: American beakgrain is a slow, colonizing grass of moist upland woods, floodplain forests, and shady clearings. The plant grows 3-4 feet tall and has broad light-green leaves that emerge in early spring. Flower and seed stalks appear midsummer. The seeds provide good food for winter foraging birds like grouse and turkeys. This is a nice less aggressive alternative to river oats for shady soils where groundcover and stabilization is needed. Zone 4-8. WV ecotype. Germination: Seeds germinate on sowing. No dormancy requirements.
- I saw one reference that said it needed a long chill, and another oblique reference to sowing in winter; so I will sow half in flats outside in winter, and half direct-sowed in the spring.
Gentiana clausa (Closed Gentian)
- From Wood Thrush: Part shade; Moist acidic soil. The ecotype we grow has flowers that are very dark almost Navy blue compared to the lighter blue of andrewsii and are much more tightly closed. This gentian is also more often found in acidic locations while andrewsii likes a little lime. Grows 1-2′ tall; Blooms August-September; Zone 2-7; WV ecotype. Germination requirements: Sow on surface. Do not cover. 60 days cold, moist stratification.
- Sow in flats outside in winter.
Liatris spicata (Spike Blazingstar)
- From Wood Thrush: Sun to light shade; moist to average soil; A tall spike of purple flowers covered in butterflies! Very attractive and easily grown in any soil so long as it isn’t too dry. Grows 3-4′ tall; Blooms July-August; Zone 3-8; WV ecotype. Germination requirements: 60 days cold, moist stratification.
- Sow in flats outside in winter. Cover very lightly.
Phlox maculata (Wild Sweet William)
- From Wood Thrush: Partial shade to full sun; moist rich soil; beautiful pink flowers with long tubes and purple-spotted stems and lance-shaped leaves; for stream sides and moist woodlands, or gardens; plants 1.5’-3’ tall; blooms June-July; zones 4-5; VA. ecotype. Germination requirements: 60 days cold, moist stratification.
- Sow in flats outside in winter. Pinch tips to help branching.