Seed Harvesting

Picking beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax) seed in the Siskiyou Mountains.

Picking beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax) seed in the Siskiyou Mountains.

Right now the native seed harvest is going strong as many species ripen and the summer fades into fall. Fall is a wonderful time of year to get out for a seed collecting backpacking trip — the mosquitoes are gone and the crowds have died down for the season. Fall colors have already begun to show a little here and there, especially the soft pink of dogwood. Colorful berries are cheerfully ripening on trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. Some species have produced prolific crops this year, despite the drought, while others are holding back their bounty for another year. As a seed collector, the hard part is beating the birds to the berries!

Madrone berries (Arubutus menziesii)

Madrone berries (Arubutus menziesii)

Just this past week I was picking seeds in the high country of the Siskiyou Mountains in snow flurries for about twenty minutes! This week it’s supposed to be in the nineties in the valleys. Such swings in the weather are typical for the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion in the fall, and it helps the seeds ripen up fast.

Fall colors of Pacific dogwood (Cornus nuttallii)

Fall colors of Pacific dogwood (Cornus nuttallii)

As the seed picking season begins to wind down in late fall we will have a complete inventory list. For now we are prioritizing seed picking excursions and cleaning the seed when we have some spare time. Contact us if you have something in particular that you are looking for.

Enjoy the last warm days of summer! And the beauty of our wonderful late season flowers, some examples of which are seen below.

rubber rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa)

rubber rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa)

western boneset (Ageratina occidentalis)

western boneset (Ageratina occidentalis)

woodland beard tongue (Nothochelone nemorosa)

woodland beard tongue (Nothochelone nemorosa)

Picking coyote mint (Monardella odoratissima) and sulphur flower (Eriogonum umbellatum) in the first snow flurries of the season in the high country of the Klamath-Siskiyou.

Picking mountain monardella (Monardella odoratissima) and sulphur-flower buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum) seeds in the season’s first snow flurries in the high country of the Klamath-Siskiyou.