Its seed collecting time!!
We are in lockdown but I have been able to seed collect on our property. A few people have been asking if various seeds are ready to collect yet so I thought I would add a few photos of what I have been collecting recently for the Nursery. There is also a dedicated page on seed collecting at the following link - https://www.southlandcommunitynursery.org.nz/restoring-your-patch/get-growing/seeds/
The general rule of thumb is not to collect green seed. Usually fleshy seed turns a different colour when ripe. Yesterday I picked some blue mingimingi (Coprosma propinqua), orange Karamu (Coprosma lucida), black broadleaf (Griselinia littoralis) purple narrow leaved mahoe (Melicytus lanceolatus) and brown manuka pods (Leptospernum scoparium) - they will open in the sun spilling tiny brown seeds. Most koromiko (Hebe salicifolia) was still green (see photo below of brown pods and tiny seed on the hand) and most of my cabbage tree seed had not turned white yet.
I have failed to find any wineberry seed this year, if you see any, or have collected any, I would be pleased to know.
There are a few native species that we wouldn’t recommend you collecting seed from as they are regarded as “weedy” natives – ie they don’t occur naturally in Southland and have a tendency to replace our local Southland species – they are Hoheria sextylosa – northern lacebark, Coprosma robusta (similar looking to Coprosma lucida) and Pseudopanax laetus – Northland fivefinger. All are present in Otatara. If you are interested in knowing the differences or are not sure send me an email. In their place we would recommend using Lowland ribbonwood (Plagianthus regius), shining karamu, (Coprosma lucida) and pate, seven finger (Shefflera digitata) and I will have lots of seed from these species to share.
Posted: 6 April 2020