Most of the auriculas featured earlier on the blog are finished flowering. Here are the growing seed pods on the yellow species auricula. I hand-pollinated the flowers from other good plants, but there are plenty of ugly, sprawly auriculas nearby, so no telling what the seeds may bring. I will collect and sow the seed green, following Carol Klein’s method. I tried this last year, and germination was quick and rampant. Sowing green seed outdoors in July, rather than ripe seed indoors in October or January, produces young seedlings that are large enough to be over-wintered outdoors (under protection). These may produce flowers the following year, likely in late summer or fall when auriculas have their growth spurt. Plants grown from ripe seed sown indoors in winter will not flower until their second spring.
This is ‘Fred Booley,’ a double auricula, bought from a mail-order nursery. Named auriculas are propagated from offsets. Double flowers contain little or no pollen, but I ran a paintbrush around inside and dabbed what it picked up onto some pin-eyed flowers (such as the one in the next photo), on the chance there might be some pollen. When the flower was fully open, it was possible to get some pollen into it, but hard to see whether the flower had the necessary parts to receive it.
These next two are seed-grown from Thompson & Morgan’s Douglas Prize Mix. I don’t know what prize they might be expected to win. Perhaps they could be entered in the Gold-centred Alpines class, were it not for the light spackling of farina on the gold centres. These are in pots and will go into the alpine garden when finished flowering.
This auricula is seed-grown from Barnhaven’s Alpine & Show mix. It is a beauty, though neither an Alpine nor a Show (no matter — no auricula shows in this part of world). To be a Show Self, its petals would have to be a solid colour. Here the colour lightens a little at the edges. And to be an Alpine, it would have to have a paste-free centre, either yellow (gold) or white (light). This one has a bright ring of paste over a yellow centre. I have several more plants from Barnhaven seed still to flower. Expecting more greatness.